Ladbrokes News presents…The Ultimate EFL Loan XI
While most eyes during the transfer window were focused on Paul Pogba’s protracted move to Manchester United or John Stones’ big-bucks switch to Manchester City, many clubs across the EFL were pulling off brilliant deals on a slender budget.
With the loan market a crucial part of the window for clubs across the Championship and Leagues One and Two, Ladbrokes News examines the best deals across the board, from raw young talents to experienced players looking to rejuvenate their career.
GK: Adam Bogdan (Wigan Athletic)
The Hungarian stopper enjoyed eight years at Bolton Wanderers before last season’s move to Liverpool, and heads to Wigan eager for gametime again.
Having impressed throughout his time with the Trotters, there’s no doubt he’s one of the best keepers in the Championship – and certainly not averse to big-game pressure, having played Premier League football, and featured regularly for Hungary.
LB: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Among Wolves’ many summer transfer coups, few rank higher than securing the services of a young man who impressed greatly at Manchester United last season, featuring 14 times – including a magnificent display in the 1-0 Premier League win at Anfield. Classy, pacy and creative, Wolves have got their hands on a gem.
CB: Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Sheffield United)
While ‘CB-J’ was striding through the doors at Molineux, his potential defensive partner was heading out. And Wolves’ loss is definitely the Blades’ gain, with the no-nonsense defender having starred in League One on loan at Bury last season.
Combined with his knack for netting crucial goals – with Millwall on the receiving end of two in one season – he’s a top acquisition. The Lions will be relieved they’ve already played United this season.
CB: Alex Davey (Crawley Town)
Red Devils’ boss Dermot Drummy was Chelsea reserves manager for three years before heading to West Sussex this summer, so it’s no surprise he’s raided his old club for a young talent. What might raise eyebrows is how they’ve managed to snag a truly top-class defensive rock. Not that Crawley fans are complaining, of course.
RB: Saidy Janko (Barnsley)
The Switzerland Under-21 international helped Celtic to reach the Champions League group stage before heading south of the border on deadline day. Fleet-footed, robust and a regular source of assists, the Oakwell faithful have plenty to be excited about.
LM: Matt Grimes (Leeds United)
In truth, it’s a surprise that Grimes hasn’t been a more regular fixture for Swansea City, but the former Exeter City youngster is sure to impress in the Championship – especially after an excellent stint for Blackburn Rovers last season.
Fantastic distribution, great pace and an eye for goal, the former Grecians man could quickly make Leeds’ difficult start to the campaign a distant memory.
CM: Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town)
Where to start? 11 goals in 26 A-League games for Melbourne City last season? A pair of goals in Australia’s World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign? The fact he was one of Pep Guardiola’s first signings as Manchester City boss? Take your pick.
The most gifted passer of the ball at any Championship club, Mooy is a player who never seems hurried, and packs a cracking long-range strike to boot. He’s Australia’s answer to Paul Scholes, and already has two assists to his name for the Terriers.
CM: Scott Allan (Rotherham United)
Fleet-footed Allan has proved himself to be a player equally adept at running with the ball and laying off chances for the frontmen at Hibernian – and then current parent club Celtic – and Millers’ fans are already enjoying the contributions of the 24-year-old livewire. Expect more eye-catching displays.
RM: Christian Atsu (Newcastle United)
It’s not often that a man with 42 caps for Ghana, an Africa Cup of Nations Best Player award and a Primeira Liga winners’ medal can be acquired without a fee – but Chelsea’s ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All (and then send them out on loan)’ approach has benefited former Blues boss Rafael Benitez this summer.
Dynamic, quick-thinking and a genuine game-changer, there’s every chance he’ll be the next hero on Tyneside.
CF: Billy McKay (Wigan Athletic to Oldham Athletic)
The Northern Irishman was a rare bright spark in a difficult year for Dundee United last time out, netting an impressive 12 times for the Terrors. And his experience will also make him a huge benefit in an Oldham squad which contains 10 players aged 22 and under.
A natural finisher, McKay’s record from the spot is also fantastic, having netted six times from the spot in the last two seasons.
CF: Bradley Fewster (Hartlepool United)
While a regular place in the Middlesbrough side could be the future for Fewster, Pools boss Craig Hignett will be delighted that Aitor Karanka has allowed the instinctive hitman to head to Victoria Park this season.
His 12 goals for York City last season, including a terrific double against Exeter City caught the eye, and in a better League Two outfit this year, you can bet he’ll score more goals.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing