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Can We Have a Borrow? The Most Successful Premier League Loan Deals in History

August 28, 2015

- Grant Whittington

When Radamel Falcao completed his loan move to Manchester United last August, fans in the red half of the city were expecting the Colombian to plunder goals on a huge scale. This is not how the deal ultimately worked out with the Monaco man bagging just four goals in 29 games.

While this represents one of the most ineffective loan moves in football history, there are others that have enjoyed spectacular success in the Premier League.

It can be hard to accurately measure the success or failure of loan moves, although the most effective way to do this is to understand the impact that individual players had at their new clubs. We put our heads together and came up with our three most successful loan moves in the Premier League…

Kevin Campbell (Trabzonspor to Everton, 1999)

Back in March 1999, Everton were languishing in the relegation zone of the EPL, struggling to score goals and facing the realistic prospect of dropping into the Championship for the new millennium.

To help them, the club turned to experienced forward and former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell, who was loaned from Turkish side Trabzonspor for the remainder of the season. ‘King Kev’s’ impact was instant and outstanding, as he plundered nine goals in just eight games to secure the Toffees survival. He then signed permanently in the summer and remained there for a further six seasons.

Christophe Dugarry (Bordeaux to Birmingham City, 2003)

There were almost audible gasps of shock when the experienced French international Christophe Dugarry joined struggling Birmingham City on loan from Bordeaux. With 55 caps and previous stints at AC Milan and Barcelona under his belt, Dugarry added some much needed guile and firepower to the Blues front-line as the club struggled to retain its place in the top flight.

He went to score five important goals in 15 games while also create numerous opportunities for others. City managed to stay in the league and Dugarry achieved cult status with fans.

Kieran Richardson (Manchester United to West Bromwich Albion, 2005)

Kieran Richardson was a product of Manchester United’s famed youth academy, although he never quite managed to make the grade at Old Trafford. This prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to loan the youngster out to West Bromwich Albion in 2005, with the Midlands club rooted to the bottom of the table and almost certain to face relegation. The energetic and pacey Richardson added an extra dimension to the first-team, scoring three goals and inspiring an unexpected winning run. His final strike came during a final day win, which kept the Baggies in the league for another season.

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