I’ve been wanting to do a loan recap for a while now, but honestly, there’s been so little good news with them that I have waited until this international break, hoping to get a better feel of how everyone’s respective stays at their loaner clubs was going. This will mostly be quick hitting, bullet point style, because we have a lot of players strung out on loan.
Javi Ontiveros- I had really high hopes for this loan. Javi is one of my favorite players to watch, and I think he has a ton of talent. However, he’s only started twice for Huesca, so far netting one assist. Per 90 minutes a lot of his numbers look really good, but he’s played so few minutes that I don’t think the sample size is useful. We’ll be hoping for much better from him before the season ends.
Jorge Cuenca- The CB we bought from Barcelona this summer has acquitted himself well so far in Segunda. Eight starts already for a team in line for the promotion playoffs as things stand today. If he plays like this all year he is likely to get a chance with the first team as a fourth CB next season (or perhaps third if Albiol were to retire).
Manu Morlanes- When he went down to Segunda, I expected him to immediately become a regular starter and one of the better players in the division. I wouldn’t say he’s quite to that point, yet, but he is growing into the side and becoming more and more relied upon. Possibly of more importance, he has stayed healthy so far this season, and that will be huge for him in his development.
Enric Franquesa- Honestly, he’s not the clear cut best LB at a Segunda level club, and given the other options we have at that position that probably means he doesn’t really have a first team future at this point.
Miguelon- Espanyol is way too good for the second tier, and unless something goes really sideways will come right back up. He’s getting plenty of minutes but at 24, will he ever make it with the first team? I asked a buddy of mine on Twitter who is an Espanyol fan how he was doing and here’s what I got back: “He usually plays around 60 mins a game and is often rotated with Oscar Gil. He is probably our more attacking rb. He links up well with Embarba/Melendo, whoever else is on the right at the time. He’s not afraid to drive at an opponent either. Defensively, he seems solid but tbh our defence isn’t in action all that often. Generally, I’d say he’s having a decent season so far and shows a lot of promise.”
Xavi Quintilla- A regular starter at Norwich, who are battling for promotion in the English second tier. A quick glance over some Norwich City blogs and they all seem happy with him. In all likelihood, his buy option will be taken up by Norwich and that’ll be just fine for us. With Estupinan and the emergence of Pedraza as an excellent contributor we won’t need him.
Ivan Martin- A goal and three assists in 823 minutes so far for Mirandes, Martin is having an excellent campaign. Still just 21 years old, the attacking midfielder (who has also appeared on the right wing) looks like a good candidate to make a go at the first team in the relative near future.
Others- I realize this isn’t everyone, but all our other loanees frankly haven’t had a meaningful impact at their new clubs yet.
I don’t really see a guaranteed bright star among this group. I think we’ll sell Quintilla for enough money to more or less pay for the buy option that we have for Foyth. Ivan and Cuenca both look likely to have some sort of backup role with the first team next year, and honestly Morlanes and Ontiveros have been pretty disappointing so far. The players we have loaned out are of course not the entirety of the young player picture at the club, but it does appear to me as though the club will need to invest again next summer if Europa League titles and chasing top four are going to be our aim in the medium term future.