Change is needed
While Steve Coppell is clearly unhappy with the loan system mostly because it has cost his team against Watford, he does make a valid point. If these players are good enough to play first-team football in the Premier League then that is what they should be doing. But not on loan, I agree with Coppell that it gives big clubs another huge advantage.
These days people seem to be confusing players brought through by a club's youth academy (such as Justin Hoyte) with players bought in as youngsters (such as Armand Traore). They talk about the wonders Arsenal are doing with their youth policy and refer to Cesc Fabregas, Denilson and Emmanuel Eboue as evidence of this. None of these players are actually products of Arsenal's academy, all were brought to the club as talented youngsters, in the same way Aston Villa bought Ashley Young but for a lot less money.
If Arsenal were unable to loan out the players they brought in, they would have to devote more to the academy and producing their own players. The likes of Niklas Bendtner need first team experience, which they will not get at Arsenal, so they are farmed out to Birmingham. I think the loan system should have two changes made to it.
The first and most important change is that no player should be able to be loaned to a team in the same division, for obvious reasons. The second thing I would do is to stop teams loaning out players that have joined the club after the age of 15. this way the youngsters, that otherwise end up in the reserves of the big clubs (such as Ben Foster), will be left at their parent club to develop. Or be bought by one of the smaller clubs where he will go straight into the first team and not be stuck in the reserves.
The whole of football would benefit by the smaller clubs being allowed to hold onto their best young players for longer. Unless changes are made the English Premier League will end up like its Scottish equivalent. It will be just the biggest clubs in with a chance of winning anything every season, if it hasn't already reached that point!
Article written by Tris Burke