9 Big Six players who need to go out on loan in 2022-23: Mejbri, Patino…

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Hannibal Mejbri playing for Manchester United in a pre-season friendly against Derby County. Sunday 18 July 2021.

While a lot of young players are more than happy to sit on the bench for one of the Premier League’s Big Six, that isn’t the case for everyone.

Loan moves allow players to get the valuable experience of first-team football without cutting ties with the club that they dream of playing for.

We’ve taken a look that nine young players from the Premier League ‘Big Six’ that probably should be thinking about a loan move ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Charlie Patino

“Sean O’Connor discovered Jack Wilshere and he said to me that Charlie is the best player who has ever walked through the doors at Hale End,” Arsenal scout Brian Stapleton told Goal. “The kid has got so much potential.”

Patino showed why he’s highly rated by coming off the bench to score against Sunderland on his Arsenal debut in December 2021.

The midfielder, who grew up idolising Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and Santi Cazorla, is renowned for his awareness, dribbling ability and excellent passing range.

While the Gunners reportedly want to keep him in and around their first team in 2022-23, they have recently signed another midfielder in Fabio Vieira.

The 18-year-old also struggled in an FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest and probably needs a loan spell to help him adjust to the pace and physicality of first-team football.

Arsenal Under-23s Charlie Patino

READ: ‘The best kid I’ve ever seen’: Arsenal’s Charlie Patino & a superb solo goal

Alvaro Fernandez

A Real Madrid academy graduate, Fernandez joined Manchester United in 2020 and has starred for their youth teams over the last two seasons.

The left-back registered three goals and four assists in 22 Premier League 2 appearances for United’s Under-23s in 2021-22, winning their Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award. 

He was also on the bench for four Premier League games last season and will be hoping to impress Erik ten Hag on the pre-season tour.

But his immediate path into the first-team looks to have been blocked by Tyrell Malacia’s £13million move to United so a loan move makes a lot of sense.

League One side Ipswich Town, who are managed by former United coach Kieran McKenna, tried to sign him in January but a number of Championship sides are now expressing their interest in the 19-year-old.

Dane Scarlett

Having starred for the youth teams, Scarlett made his Tottenham debut at the age of 16 years and 247 days in November 2020 and has since made another nine senior appearances.

“Seeing that this guy is improving a lot, he’s only 17 years old but I can tell you that he is a really important prospect for Tottenham,” Antonio Conte said in March 2022. “I can tell you that I see a brilliant future for him.”

Manchester United reportedly made an enquiry to his representatives in April, but he ultimately signed a new four-year contract at Tottenham. 

The striker recently helped England win the European Under-19 Championship and now looks set to spend 2022-23 out on loan as Preston North End have apparently expressed an interest.

He has spoken of how much he is benefitting from watching Harry Kane and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the Tottenham captain, who had four spells away from the club earlier in his career. 

Kaide Gordon

After making his Derby County debut at the age of 16, Gordon was linked with Manchester United and Liverpool before joining the latter in a potential £3.4million deal in 2021.

The 17-year-old made four first-team appearances for the Reds in 2021-22 and became their second youngest goalscorer when he found the back of the net in an FA Cup win over Shrewsbury. 

While the right winger is undoubtedly a very special talent, he won’t be usurping Mohamed Salah in 2022-23 and a loan move to the Championship could aid his development.

Gordon will be hoping to follow a similar path to Harvey Elliott, who forced his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans after starring on loan at Blackburn Rovers in 2020-21.

Liam Delap

Son of former Stoke City midfielder Rory Delap, Liam doesn’t take long throws but is a 6ft striker with electric pace, skill and a real eye for goal.

He has scored 32 goals in 30 Premier League 2 appearances over the last two seasons and marked his senior debut with a goal against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup in September 2020.

But the England Under-19 international has since made just five more appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side and is further down the pecking order following the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.

Delap needs to leave the Etihad on loan in search of regular first-team football and Southampton and Brighton are reportedly prepared to offer it to him.

Hannibal Mejbri

Manchester United have already shown a lot of faith in Mejbri, agreeing to pay Monaco a potential £8.7million for the then-16-year-old in 2019.

The midfielder won their Under-23s Player of the Year award in 2020-21 and youth football is just not challenging enough for him anymore.

Despite only turning 19 earlier this year, he already has 12 senior caps for Tunisia and has also made three appearances in the Premier League.

“I hope so [to see him get more minutes],” former United midfielder Nemanja Matic recently told the club’s official website.

“I think that every time I see him in training, he surprises me with his quality. He’s still young, but I’m very excited. I really want to see how he’s growing and improving.”

Erik ten Hag has reportedly been impressed by Mejbri in training as well but United will have an abundance of attack-minded midfielders once Christian Eriksen arrives at Old Trafford.

A loan move to the Championship would certainly be more beneficial than a few occasional minutes in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.

Marcelo Flores

Alongside Mejbri, Arsenal midfielder Marcelo Flores is also a senior international as he has three caps for Mexico.

The 18-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for Arsenal but made the matchday squad for the first time in their 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace in April. 

He’s become a key player for the Under-23s and could play in the Europa League next season but a loan move would help him stake his claim to be in Mexico’s World Cup squad.

“I’ve been saying it for a while now that before I’m 19 I want to be a professional player, be it here [at Arsenal] or somewhere else, either out on loan or permanently,” he told football.london in May.

“I want to get to the World Cup before my 19th birthday. My birthday is in October, so the World Cup will be the month after that, so I want to be involved in the World Cup squad and get my debut with Arsenal before then.”

Harvey Vale

Chelsea are renowned for producing brilliant players in their Cobham academy and Vale is next off the production line.

The midfielder registered five goals and three assists in Premier League 2 in 2021-22 and also made a handful of appearances for Thomas Tuchel’s senior team in the domestic cups. 

His performances saw him win the Academy Player of the Year award, and he could follow in the footsteps of Mason Mount, Reece James and Conor Gallagher, who won the award and then had successful loan spells away from Stamford Bridge. 

But the England Under-19 captain only has one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge so Chelsea will need to tie him down to a new deal first.

Harvey Vale celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Youth League. Cobham Training Ground, Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey. Tuesday September 14, 2021.

READ: Harvey Vale’s 55-yard lob: Ultimate proof he’s Chelsea’s latest ‘baller’

Alfie Devine

Devine has already written his name into the Tottenham history books, becoming the club’s youngest-ever player and youngest-ever goalscorer after his debut against Marne in January 2021. 

The midfielder is still waiting to make his second first-team appearance for the club but has been honing his skills with their Under-23s.

Alongside Scarlett, Delap and Vale, he was also part of that successful England Under-19s squad and registered three direct goal contributions at the tournament. 

Premier League football is a bit too big of a jump right now but teams in the Championship, League One and the Scottish Premiership are interested in him and a loan spell could help refine his game.


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