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Sancho, Cancelo feature in 10 Premier League loanees who won’t play for their club again

Sancho, Cancelo feature in 10 Premier League loanees who won’t play for their club again

Here are ten Premier League players currently out on loan that we think have played their final match for their parent club.

Picking someone who is out of contract when their loan spell ends is too much of a tap-in, so we have avoided that. We were also reluctant to add players who have an option or obligation to buy included in their loan agreements, but may have made one or two exceptions…

Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
We were given some juicy fallout rubbish that turned out not to be all rubbish when Joao Cancelo was sent out on loan to Bayern Munich in the 2023 winter transfer window. It was a move that initially raised eyebrows given his incredible past performances for Manchester City, but quickly made sense when the player failed to shine in Bavaria and Pep Guardiola’s side became one of the best defensive teams in world football, if not the best.

Upon the Portuguese full-back’s return to his parent club, he was linked with both Arsenal and Barcelona, though a move to the latter always felt the more plausible of the two, even given their money trouble.

Bayern and Manchester City did not want to keep Cancelo and he ended up joining Barca on loan for 2023/24. He has been fine at the Nou Camp and is sure to be sold this summer when another loan expires. Whether the Blaugrana muster up the necessary funds remains to be seen.

Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)
Now, this is what you call a fall out. The breakdown in relationship between Jadon Sancho and Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag truly was box office stuff, until it wasn’t.

The drama quickly became boring, with Sancho needing to apologise for essentially telling two million social media followers that his boss is a liar. It wasn’t a good look from the player, and it wasn’t the best form from Ten Hag either, receiving criticism for not keeping his issue with Sancho in-house.

It was unclear whether or not Sancho would be sold or loaned in the January transfer window but as long as Ten Hag was at the club, he was not going to be playing for Manchester United. The 23-year-old went back to Borussia Dortmund on loan and is enjoying his football again. The Red Devils are also doing quite well without that cloud hanging over them.

Having cost the club £73million, they will probably cut ties at the end of the season, unless Ten Hag is relieved of his duties.

Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa)
Coutinho’s return to the Premier League excited the vast majority of us. Reunited with his former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was a nice story. Unfortunately for Aston Villa, the Brazilian was well past his best and the Reds legend was a bit rubbish at being a manager.

The Villans ended Coutinho’s Barcelona nightmare by signing him for around £15m, which many thought was a bargain. He provided seven goal contributions in his first eight appearances for the Midlands outfit but two in 33 afterwards left a lot to be desired.

After 24 minutes of Premier League action in 2023/24, Unai Emery shipped Coutinho out to Qatar, where he has scored four goals for Al Duhail. Failing to get your career back on track in the Middle East is a definitive sign that you belong out there.

Steven Gerrard has played with and managed Philippe Coutinho.

Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham)
Tottenham paid a club-record £55m for Ndombele after he impressed for Lyon in the Champions League and Ligue 1, but after a decent start to life in north London, it became clear that the French midfielder was not suited for the Premier League. A few years on, it’s not entirely clear whether he’s suited for football at all.

Technically he is outstanding, but there is no desire there and Ndombele doesn’t exactly hide it, trotting about on the pitch while looking out of shape. He is one of the worst signings in Premier League history and is now struggling for minutes at Galatasaray after a poor spell on loan at Napoli last season.

The 27-year-old is under contract at Spurs until 2025 and the Turkish giants have a £12m buy clause in their agreement with Ange Postecoglou’s side. That would be a waste of funds from Galatasaray’s point of view and this smells of a contract termination in the summer.

Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)
Another player currently on loan at Galatasaray, we were reluctant to include Ziyech because he has a buy obligation in his loan deal that probably will be triggered at the end of 23/24. We say probably because there are conditions to make the transfer from Chelsea permanent.

The Moroccan playmaker joined the Blues for around £35m after an immense stint with Ajax, establishing himself as arguably their most important player under Ten Hag in 2019. Andre Onana, Dusan Tadic, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek were all in that team, so that is high praise indeed.

It never really clicked for Ziyech at Stamford Bridge. Another player with a lot more technical ability than effort on the pitch, he was a part of the squad that won the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel. He might not have played a single minute in the final victory over Manchester City, but he was there.

Mason Holgate (Everton)
If Everton have any sense about them (which they actually might not), they will sell Holgate at the end of the season. He is under contract until 2025 and is clearly not Premier League standard. The Toffees should try and get a fee from some sucker in the Championship while they can.

Holgate joined Sheffield United on loan in January after struggling for minutes at Southampton during the first half of the season. In his three Premier League appearances for the Blades, the 27-year-old has lost 5-0 at home twice and got sent off for one of the nastiest ‘tackles’ you will see in a long time after 13 minutes against Brighton. Sky Sports co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe said that Holgate went out to “do” Kaoru Mitoma and he was not wrong. It was a thuggish thing to do and the boos for Mitoma from the Bramall Lane faithful were laughable.

Anyway, Holgate’s inclusion is not just an excuse to bash him. After 149 appearances for the club, he surely won’t play for Everton again.

Donny van de Beek (Manchester United)
We mentioned Van de Beek as one of the key cogs for Ajax and he was just that. A superb box-to-box midfielder who could shrewdly get in the box at the perfect time, the Netherlands international was snapped up by the Red Devils in September 2020.

That transfer killed his career. It felt at the time like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought him to the club just so Manchester United got someone and looking back at the player’s time at Old Trafford, that feels pretty feasible.

Van de Beek never became a regular starter under Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick, and there was no change under Ten Hag, despite his previous success under his old Ajax boss. It will never happen for him at Old Trafford and a loan spell at Frankfurt is a decent opportunity to put himself in the shop window this summer. The German outfit have an option to buy included in the loan agreement but it would not be surprising to see that ignored.

Goncalo Guedes (Wolves)
Guedes is a player who has cost over €100m in transfers in his career and has played for Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain and Valencia, but that was very hard to tell whenever he took to the pitch for Wolves. He also has a respectable seven goals in 32 Portugal caps.

What looked like an ambitious and potentially superb signing at the time, Guedes cost Wolves around £28m in 2022 but he has had more loan transfers (three) than goals for the club (two) since.

He is currently at Benfica – his second loan back at his former club – and is under contract until 2027. With no option to buy included, Guedes will presumably return to Molineux only to go back to the Portuguese giants on a temporary basis. It will probably be a case of rinse and repeat until he is free to leave for nothing in three years. Wolves could really do with the funds, mind.

Nat Phillips (Liverpool)
Liverpool legend Phillips was an important player during the famous injury crisis of 2021, helping the Reds qualify for the Champions League. Talk of a move to Burnley or Leeds United then circulated but the big centre-half stayed at Anfield to provide cover in the vain hope Virgil van Dijk’s knee would get snapped again.

Still only 26, Phillips has spent time on loan at Bournemouth and Celtic since his solid performances in 20/21 and returned from a spell north of the border in January to join Championship side Cardiff City for the remainder of this campaign.

Another player on this list who can become a free agent next year, Phillips has quickly become a regular starter in the Welsh capital. The second tier is definitely his level and Liverpool would be silly not to sell while they can this summer.

Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest)
Nigerian striker Dennis was a revelation at Watford and a contender for signing of the season after joining from Club Brugge for a measly £3m in July 2021. He scored ten goals in 33 games as the Hornets were relegated from the Premier League, joining 400 other new players at Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2022.

Minutes were hard to come by in his debut campaign at the City Ground and any momentum Dennis had in Our League was lost. He was sent to Istanbul Basaksehir on loan for the season but a lack of minutes in Turkey presented the perfect opportunity to get up and running again: a return to Vicarage Road.

A slow start at his old club hints that Dennis will not become a success for Forest. Off you pop in the summer, son.

Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United)
A handy player when Newcastle were in the trenches, Hayden has not played for the Magpies since a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in December 2021.

Injury troubles and a takeover at St James’ Park have resulted in a lack of playing time and loan spells for the former Arsenal youngster, who is still 28 years young, you might be surprised to learn!

Since his last appearance for Newcastle, Hayden has spent time with Norwich City, Standard Liege, and is now at Queens Park Rangers. QPR might not have a buy option but it is safe to say that Hayden will not be coming back to his parent club to compete for a starting berth with Sandro Tonali and Bruno Guimaraes.

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