5 Premier League to EFL loans that need to happen in January
With the transfer window under way, we look at five temporary deals that would see players dropping down a division and make sense for both sides.
James Justin to Luton
What a difference a year makes.
Justin and Luton were having it large in League One last season.
The Hatters romped their way to the title and a second consecutive promotion, with Justin named in both the PFA and EFL Teams of the Season and won the League One Young Player of the Season.
That form earned the full-back a summer move to Leicester, to provide competition for Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira.
But it’s not worked out well.
Luton are four points from safety at the bottom of the Championship and have won just twice since October, while Justin has started just one Premier League game.
A temporary return to Kenilworth Road could be what both parties need to re-discover the good times.
Harvey Elliott to Brentford
If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
That’s been the case for 16-year-old Elliott, who has put in a number of eye-catching performances in cup games since joining Liverpool from Fulham last summer.
But with out of both the EFL Cup and EFL Trophy, Elliott’s opportunities could soon dry up.
The winger is unlikely to play in the latter stages of the Champions League, while his only Premier League appearance has been as an 89th-minute substitute against Sheffield United earlier this month.
That leaves only the FA Cup, in which the Reds have a maximum of five more games.
Instead, Jurgen Klopp should consider letting him drop down a division to gain more experience.
Promotion-chasing Brentford could give him just that.
The Bees have the second youngest squad in the Championship, and that commitment to bringing through young talent should appeal to Liverpool.
Elliott, meanwhile, could provide competition for wingers Bryan Mbeumo and Said Benrahma, who have started every game together since the end of November.
Michael Obafemi to Middlesbrough
This move would be great for both clubs and the player.
Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhuttl said that he thought Obafemi could have a “big future” after his first Premier League start of the season against Arsenal in November.
But the Austrian followed that by admitting that “there is still a long way to go for him” and that “he must learn quickly”.
The 19-year-old striker has started just two more matches since then, so a loan move that provides regular first-team football looks like the best place for him to hone his skills.
With Boro striker Britt Assombalonga currently injured and with his future uncertain, there’s a spot going at the Riverside.
The move would also help ease some of the pressure currently on Ashley Fletcher, who is one of just two recognised fit centre forwards at the club and hasn’t had a break since early November.
Che Adams to Sheffield Wednesday
This deal would not go down well on the red side of Sheffield, not that Wednesday fans will care.
Adams made his professional breakthrough at Bramall Lane as a 17-year-old six years ago and has since played for Birmingham and Southampton, who he joined in summer for £15m.
But having failed to score in 19 games in all competitions, it seems that striker would benefit from returning to the division here he made his name.
Enter Sheffield Wednesday, whose manager Garry Monk is looking to bring in a “strong and dynamic” striker after top scorer Steven Fletcher was ruled out until March with injury.
Adams, who scored 22 goals under Monk for Birmingham in the Championship last season, fits the bill.
Billy Sharp to Derby
There are few better poachers below the Premier League than Sharp.
Last season, the self-proclaimed “fat lad from Sheffield” bagged 23 goals in 40 appearances for Sheffield United in the Championship – the fourth straight season in which he hit double figures for the Blades.
But the 33-year-old has found game time limited this season – he has started just once in the Premier League – and presumably, at his age, would prefer to be playing week in, week out.
Teaming up with fellow veteran Wayne Rooney at Derby could be the answer.
The Rams haven’t had a regular centre forward all season, with regular starters Chris Martin and Jack Marriott scoring just six goals between them.
With Marriot out injured, it’s easy to see where Sharp would slot in.
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