How these five London footballers are doing out on loan this season

Loan football can do one of two things to young players. For people like Harry Kane, who famously came back from several loan spells and straight into Spurs’ scoring books, it can be a game-changer. For others, though, it’s merely the start of a descent down the leagues.

With London Premier League clubs currently having a host of talent out on loan either abroad or in the lower English leagues, many fans are wondering which of their stars will use the experience to come back a better player.

In this article, we’re going to look at five top-rated young London talents and see how they’re faring away from their parent clubs.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – Bayer Leverkusen (Chelsea)

Of all of Chelsea’s academy prospects, Callum Hudson-Odoi was one of the players tipped to go furthest by pundits. But after a bright start at the Bridge, in which he received three England caps and a run in the team under Maurizio Sarri, his career has stalled since he handed in a transfer request in 2019.

A prolonged spell out of the Chelsea side has seen him sent on loan to Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, where he’s enjoyed a steady start, operating both on the left wing and as a central attacking midfielder. His team plays regular European football, too, in the Europa League, and Hudson-Odoi may get a chance to make his mark in the knockouts, where his team travels to Monaco.

The normal attractions of the capital Monte Carlo may be off-limits for the youngster, who is much more likely to play an online blackjack game than appear in any of the city’s famous casinos, but he’ll be hoping to do his playing on the pitch as Leverkusen bid to reach the quarter finals.

Chelsea fans will be keeping a close eye on him if he does, with current boss Graham Potter known to favour giving homegrown talent a chance, should CHO return.

Harry Winks – Sampdoria (Spurs)

As a regular starter for Spurs under Jose Mourinho, Harry Winks may not have foreseen the years of difficulty that have come since.

After not fitting into Antonio Conte’s plans since he took over – Winks has lost his place to Rodrigo Bentancur – the midfielder was shipped off to Sampdoria in the summer, but things have since gone from bad to worse.

The Italian club announced that Winks was to go for ankle surgery in November, with their coach Dejan Stankovic saying that he’d not had the chance to see the midfielder play yet this season.

It may lead to the two clubs restructuring the terms of the loan agreement, especially if Winks is out for months instead of weeks.

Ainsley Maitland Niles – Southampton (Arsenal)

Deemed surplus to requirements by Mikkel Arteta, Maitland-Niles joined his fourth loan club Southampton in September, and has been a regular starter for them, despite only completing 90 minutes once.

New boss Nathan Jones took him out of the starting line-up at Anfield before the World Cup break, but it may be that AMN finds himself an important cog of a Saints midfield that needs to beef up if it is to avoid the dreaded drop.

Maitland-Niles brings many attributes that are important to a struggling side, including tenacity and stamina, not to mention his versatility.

Nathan Baxter – Hull City (Chelsea)

Nathan Baxter may not be a name that trips off too many Chelsea fans’ lips, but if you’re looking for a goalkeeper learning his trade in the lower leagues, then he’s your man.

Still only 24 (a baby in goalkeeping terms), Baxter has already played in the National League, League Two, League One, and The Championship – in that order.

He’s currently at Hull City for a second term, and he’s conceded almost two goals a game as Hull struggle at the wrong end of the table.

Still, Baxter isn’t short of confidence. In a recent interview, he backed himself to pull on the famous Chelsea jersey soon.

Steven Sessegnon – Charlton Athletic (Fulham)

2022 might be the year that Steven Sessegnon got his career back on track. The left-back has been impressive for Charlton since winning his place in the team in September, although the team’s form has been mixed.

It hasn’t been easy for Sessegnon, with his twin brother Ryan taking all the plaudits in the duo’s careers so far, but Steven has bags of talent himself. Charlton fans saw a glimpse of this when he provided two assists during the side’s recent 4-1 Cup victory over Coalville. Granted, the opposition wasn’t great, but Sessegnon’s willingness to get forward and eye for a pass may prove crucial as The Addicks gun for the League One play-offs.

Parent club Fulham will be keeping a close eye on his form as the season progresses.

Featured image credit: Fachry Zella Devandra on Unsplash

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