Tuesday Team Talk: Relying on loan stars could be risky business for Kit Symons and Fulham

In their battle for Championship survival, Fulham have opted to bring in seven loan players – a move that could prove costly in their relegation fight.

On the final day of the loan window last Thursday, manager Kit Symons brought in Danny Guthrie, James Husband and Richard Lee until the end of the season, joining a list that already had Jazz Richards, Kostas Stafylidis, Seko Fofana and Michael Turner on it.

They all look like good signings on paper, but the constant flow of changing faces could cause disharmony among the squad.

Every loan is a risk because a player may lack the commitment to fight for the cause, or they could provide the impetus the side needs to get up the table – something the 20th-placed Cottagers desperately need to start doing.

The tactic didn’t work for Doncaster Rovers last season. They had six loan players in their squad and, despite bringing in talented striker Billy Sharp, couldn’t avoid the drop.

But there have been success stories as well where loan signings have been able to save a team’s season.

In 1999, Kevin Campbell joined Everton on loan from Trabzonspor with the Toffees in the relegation zone with only eight games left to save their season.

Campbell scored nine goals and became the club’s top scorer, keeping them in the Premier League as a result.

In 2005, Kieran Richardson was not part of Manchester United’s plans and was sent to bottom club West Bromwich Albion.

Albion were bottom at Christmas, a situation that usually spells relegation, but Richardson’s arrival helped to revitalise the squad.

The Baggies remained bottom going into the final day of the season but Richardson scored as they beat Portsmouth 2-0 and their great escape was complete.

Whether these Fulham loan signings have a similar impact remains to be seen but they will all need to hit the ground running for matches with derby rivals Brentford and Charlton and then home games with fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic and Rotherham – who both sit below them in the table.

Feature image courtesy of Treevis, with thanks

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