Nine loan players who could star in the Premier League next season

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Arsenal defender William Saliba on loan at Marseille

While Premier League clubs will look to bolster their squad with new signings in the summer, they could also welcome back some of their loanees.

The likes of Mason Mount, Emile Smith Rowe and Harry Kane all benefitted from loan deals before establishing themselves as Premier League regulars.

We’ve taken a look at nine loanees who are currently impressing in other divisions and could star in the Premier League next season.

William Saliba

Despite joining Arsenal in a £27million deal in the summer of 2019, Saliba is yet to make a first-team appearance for the club.

The centre-back returned to Saint-Etienne – the club Arsenal signed him from – for the 2019-20 season before spending the second half of 2020-21 on loan at Nice.

He joined Marseille ahead of 2021-22 and has enjoyed a brilliant season, registering 20 clean sheets in 51 appearances in all competitions.

The France international has helped Marseille secure Champions League qualification for next season and has also won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award.

According to TEAMtalk, Saliba has attracted interest from Atletico Madrid but wants to return to Arsenal this summer and fight for his first-team place.

Julian Alvarez

Alvarez joined Manchester City on deadline day in the January transfer window before being immediately loaned back to River Plate.

Admittedly, Erling Haaland has since joined City as well and will undoubtedly be one of the first names in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI next season.

But Alvarez is regarded as one of the most gifted young players in South America and can still make an impact in the Premier League in 2022-23.

The Argentina international has registered 12 direct goal contributions in 15 appearances for River Plate in 2022 and can play anywhere across the front three.

He could also get a lot of opportunities as Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling also face uncertain futures at the Etihad while Haaland has struggled with injury problems this season.

James Garner

Manchester United’s problems in midfield have been well documented this season but the solution could be right under their noses.

Garner spent the second half of last season on loan at Nottingham Forest and decided to return to the City Ground for 2021-22.

The 21-year-old has been one of the best midfielders in the Championship this season, registering four goals and eight assists as Forest finished fourth.

He’s also impressed against Premier League opposition, producing brilliant performances against Arsenal, Leicester City and Liverpool in Forest’s FA Cup run.

“For me, he’s got all the attributes needed,” Forest’s Jack Colback said of Garner’s ability to play in the Premier League. “He’s very good on the ball, technically his passing range is excellent but he’s also got the other side of that, which is defensive.

“I think he doesn’t get the credit, but he’s really good defensively, he covers a lot, gets a lot of tackles in and you need that.

“Like any player you’ve got to keep your head down, keep working, never think that you’ve done enough, but Jimmy will have as good a chance as anyone.”

Garner will reportedly get a chance to impress new United manager Erik ten Hag during pre-season, but he could stay at Forest for another season if they secure promotion to the Premier League.

Ethan Ampadu

With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to leave on free transfers at the end of the season, Chelsea are in desperate need of new centre-backs.

They’ll undoubtedly use the transfer market once Todd Boehly’s takeover goes through but can also promote one of their loanees.

Ampadu spent the last two seasons at RB Leipzig and Sheffield United before signing a new contract at Chelsea and joining Serie A side Venezia on a season-long loan. 

While the Wales international couldn’t prevent their relegation to Serie B, he showcased his abilities as a modern ball-playing defender and was one of their standout performers.

He’ll now be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Trevoh Chalobah, who had three loan spells away from Chelsea before enjoying a brilliant breakthrough season in 2021-22.

Levi Colwill

But Ampadu isn’t the only Chelsea loanee that will be hoping to fill the centre-back void at Stamford Bridge next season.

Colwill, who came through Chelsea’s academy and has been compared to John Terry, is getting his first taste of senior football on loan at Huddersfield Town.

The 19-year-old has gone from strength to strength over the course of the season, keeping 13 clean sheets in 29 Championship appearances as the Terriers finished third.

He’s reportedly in Thomas Tuchel’s plans for next season but Leicester City, Southampton and Bournemouth are all reportedly interested in the defender.

“I think I’m ready [for the Premier League]. I’ve learnt a lot this year so the next step I hope will be in the Premier League with Chelsea, Huddersfield or whoever,” he told The Athletic.

Neco Williams

Despite being highly rated at Liverpool, Williams has understandably struggled for regular game time with Trent Alexander-Arnold occupying his position.

The right-back joined Fulham on loan in January 2022 and registered four direct goal contributions in 14 appearances as they won the Championship title.

He can return to Liverpool as Alexander-Arnold’s deputy and will get first-team opportunities as Jurgen Klopp’s side aim for multiple trophies yet again in 2022-23.

But Fulham want to make his loan move a permanent one in the summer and are reportedly willing to pay £12million for his signature.

While we don’t know who Williams will be playing for next season, we’d be amazed if it wasn’t a Premier League club.

Ian Maatsen

The third Chelsea player to feature on this list, Maatsen spent 2020-21 on loan at League One side Charlton before stepping up to the Championship with Coventry City.

He’s maintained his impressive performances in the second tier, registering three goals and an assist from the left wing-back spot.

The 20-year-old has been named Coventry City’s Young Player of the Year and will now be hoping to stake a first-team claim at Chelsea.

Marcos Alonso has been linked with a move to Barcelona and Maatsen could play a backup role to Ben Chilwell in 2022-23.

Ellis Simms

Simms swapped Manchester Cty’s academy for Everton’s in 2017 and had a sensational goalscoring record for the Toffees at youth level.

He made his Premier League debut in a cameo appearance against Chelsea in December 2021 and then joined Hearts on a loan a few weeks later.

The 21-year-old striker has scored seven goals in 20 appearances in all competitions, including a sensational strike against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

He has been linked with a return to Tynecastle ahead of 2022-23 but could be in Frank Lampard’s plans for next season.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been plagued by injury problems this season, is attracting interest from Newcastle United and Richarlison has been linked with Manchester United.

Morgan Gibbs-White

Gibbs-White made his senior Wolves debut at the age of 16 back in January 2017 and was regarded as the next big thing.

But his progress has stalled in recent years, and he joined Sheffield United on loan in August 2021 in search of regular first-team football.

The midfielder has registered 11 goals and nine assists in 36 appearances, helping the Blades finish fifth in the Championship and secure a play-off place.

His impressive and consistent performances in 2021-22 also saw him win the club’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

“They’re two very, very sensational players,” Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp said when asked about Gibbs-White and fellow loanee Iliman Ndiaye. “Similar but different in the same breath

“Morgan runs all day, he’s got tricks in abundance. Scores a lot of goals and assists as well.”

According to TEAMtalk, Wolves are ready to rebuff any interest in the 22-year-old and boss Bruno Lage will give him the chance to impress in pre-season.


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