Is the loan system fit for purpose?

Brighton and Hove Albion
Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy says fellow Town midfielder Philip Billing has now added consistency to the ability he has always possessed.

Is it time to severely restrict the amount of players Premier League clubs are allowed to register and then send out on loan?

The loan system is being systematically abused by Premier League clubs as they register players they almost never ever have any intention of playing and then just lend them out to lower league clubs.

There are strict rules governing the amount of loans Premier League clubs can have on their books from other clubs in the top flight – they are allowed four loan players a season and no more than one from each club.

Clubs are also not allowed to loan a player to another Premier League club if they have bought him in during that same transfer window.

It is not the loans between Premier League clubs that are the ones to worry about, it is the ones from Premier League clubs to lower league sides or to sides in another country that are perhaps most worrying.

There appears to be very little governance when it comes to youngsters moving abroad or to lower league clubs.

A quick glance at the figures and one Premier League club for example has loaned out around 24 players to other clubs whilst another has 22 out on loan and a third has 21.

This is just a little snap shot of what appears to be happening at almost every top club in the country but the question is, are they handing these youngsters contracts because they think they are going to make it at their club?

Or, far more likely, are they are signing them in order to keep them out of the grasp of any rivals just in case they become good.

Some loan players do actually make it, Aaron Mooy was loaned by Manchester City to Huddersfield Town and the Australian played regularly for their Premier League side last season after helping them to promotion but it is the youngsters that are never heard of that no one seems concerned about.

Obviously clubs should be allowed to bring youngsters in and hand them deals, seeing how they progress, but surely there must be a limit to how many they take.

Every one of the players who is currently out on loan has big dreams of making it as a professional footballer for his parent club, but is it fair to allow these dreams to continue when in reality their chances are minimal?

Although they may make a career for themselves at their loan venue or somewhere else, does anyone keep tabs on the number of young players who are thrown on the scrap heap when it becomes clear they are not going to make it.

How many of those had any realistic chance in the first place and by being taken in by big football clubs, who may even be pricing these youngsters out of a career eslewhere, have they then missed their window of opportunity when it comes to apprenticeships and getting on in the real world?