The 2016-17 campaign saw a number of high profile loan moves in January and some players have been given a rare life-line in Premier League football with some big money moves on permanent deals.
Here are just five players whose careers could rocket from their January move or it might break them…
One of the most high-profile switches was Schneiderlin’s move from Manchester United to Everton. The Frenchman was hugely impressive under Ronald Koeman at Southampton and he was rewarded with a huge career move to Old Trafford. However, he was barely given an opportunity under Louis Van Gaal or Jose Mourinho so it was no surprise he jumped ship and joined the Merseysiders to be re-united with his former boss. He will be given responsibility in midfield and will likely form a partnership with Idrissa Gueye in the Everton holding roles. Should he succeed, his Premier League career will be back on track but if he fails to make an impression with the Toffees, he may struggle to continue playing in England.
One of the most controversial moves of the month was Liverpool’s centre-back Sakho. The French international was banished from the first team and forced to play with the under-23s for the entire 2016-17 season under Jurgen Klopp before completing a loan move to Crystal Palace. Sakho was one of the Reds heroes as they made it to the final of the EFL Cup and the Europa League in May but a fall out with the manager has seen him out of action for over six months. His talent is unquestionable and he is still relatively young. If his discipline improves and he makes an impression at Palace, Klopp may be forced to give him a second chance upon his return in the summer – especially given Liverpool’s need for defensive solidity.
The young West Ham star has huge potential but he has rarely been used by Slaven Bilic despite the Hammers fall from grace. Dimitri Payet’s departure has opened up a can of worms in London and the club will no doubt be looking to bring in some attacking talent in the summer. However, Oxford has long been the club’s most exciting young starlet and his loan move to Reading could be the spark he needs to kick his career into life. His progression has faltered slightly but he clearly has the talent to have a successful career in the Premier League. Now is the time to prove it.
The 20-year-old’s career at Liverpool has become stagnated despite a hugely encouraging 2015-16 campaign. Brannagan featured heavily in the first team squad under Brendan Rodgers and he was utilised on a number of occasions in the Europa League and the cup competitions under Klopp last season. However, he has played second fiddle to a number of exciting youngsters at Liverpool in the last six months – including Ovie Ejaria, Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold. The midfielder’s last first team appearance came in May 2016 but the arrival of Marko Grujic and Giorginio Wijnaldum pushed him further down the pecking order. A summer loan agreement with Wigan fell through but he finally secured a move to local side Fleetwood Town in January and if he puts in some impressive performances, he could be considered in Klopp’s plans in the summer.
The former Aston Villa star made an impression in the Premier League despite his side suffering relegation last season. He scored seven goals in 30 appearances and was a stand-out performer in a group of struggling players. However, he has been severely out of form in the Championship and he was largely overlooked by Steve Bruce when the new manager arrived shortly before the new year. His three-and-a-half-year deal with Swansea gives him another chance to fight for his career and should he help the Swans stay up, he faces another year in the Premier League despite failing to make an impression in the second tier.