The best 7 loan signings the English Premier League has ever seen


The European football transfer market will soon open, and some of the biggest signings -reviewed on – will be executed.

Signing players in the top five European football leagues now costs a fortune. Not all clubs have such money bags to throw around in the transfer market, especially with the risk of your expensive signings flopping. This explains why some clubs take a more prudent approach, signing players on loans.

Interestingly, some clubs have been fortunate to sign premium players on loan who transformed them and, in some cases, helped them stake a claim for trophies. 

Let us talk about some of the best loan signings the Premier League has seen. 

1.      Jurgen Klinsmann: Signed from Sampdoria to Tottenham

Jurgen Klinsmann was not a new face at White Hart Lane. His first spell at the club saw him score 30 goals in total. This performance prompted Bayern Munich to snap him up.

However, the highlight of his time at Tottenham was his return on loan in 1997, after a brief stint with Sampdoria. The striker was terrific during this second spell, almost single-handedly helping the team avoid relegation.

He scored 9 goals in 15 matches and called an end to his professional playing career after that historic season.

2.      Kevin Campbell: Signed from Trabzonspor to Everton

Kevin Campbell endured an acrimonious exit from Trabzonspor. Bogged down with issues with senior executives at the Turkish club, he sought refuge elsewhere, and thankfully, Everton came knocking.

Campbell returned the favor. Everton were buried in a relegation battle and desperately needed a savior. 

Campbell was an instant hit, scoring three braces in a row to help the Toffees avoid relegation, winning four of their last six games.

This outstanding loan performance saw him winning the Premier League player of the month award for April 1999. In addition, the club’s management rewarded him with a permanent contract and a six-year career at Goodison Park. 

3.      Romelu Lukaku: Signed from Chelsea to Westbrom

Initially sidelined at Chelsea, the Belgian forward sought a move away, securing a season loan deal at West Brom for the 2012-2013 season.

This turned out to be the right decision as his influence was massively felt, announcing himself to the world. This buffy striker scored 17 goals for West Brom in all competitions, including a hat trick against Manchester United.

Since West Brom, he has moved to more clubs, developing into a very lethal striker. What more? Thanks to his development, he has returned to the club where he was once exiled. This time for a heavy £97.5 million.

4.      Daniel Sturridge: Signed from Chelsea to Bolton

Another initial Chelsea outcast, Daniel Sturridge, sought more game time which he was not getting at Chelsea. This saw him switch sides in the 2010-2011 second half on loan to Bolton.

He immediately hit the ground running at Bolton, scoring eight goals in twelve games. Sturridge was impressive at Bolton such that he scored in his first four matches for the club, becoming the sixth premier league striker to do so.

Chelsea saw how good a striker he was and decided to retain him for the 2011-2012 season.

5.      Robbie Keane: Signed from Inter to Leeds

With just six appearances, things were not going as planned for Keane after his £13 million move from Coventry to Inter Milan.

However, luck shone in him after being shipped out on loan to Leeds in the mid-2000/2001 season. He immediately 

rediscovered his form, scoring nine goals in fourteen games for the team and helping them vie for the champions league spot. 

This improvement earned him a five-year permanent deal at Leeds



6.      Mikel Arteta: Signed from Real Sociedad to Everton


The current Arsenal FC manager is another addition to the list. Mikel Arteta left Real Sociedad on loan in 2005 following a hazy period for the club. His destination was North London at Goodison Park.


The then Toffees coach, David Moyes, needed a replacement for Thomas Graversen, who was leaving for Real Madrid. Moyes opted to bring Arteta in.


Mikel Arteta quickly adapted to life at Everton, dutifully performing his role in the midfield department. He helped the Toffees qualify for the champions league that year.


Seeing his impressive performance, David Moyes signed him permanently, keeping him at the club for another five years. Arteta featured 209 times during this period, scoring 35 goals and assisting 35 times.


7.      Christophe Dugarry: Signed from Bordeaux to Birmingham City


Dugarry’s arrival at Birmingham City during the second half of the season in 2003 was greeted with much fanfare, with coach Steve Bruce describing him as the club’s biggest signing. 


The club needed some motivation fresh from securing promotion to the premier league, and it seemed Christophe Dugarry was the right fit.


Upon arrival, he quickly repaid their faith in him, featuring in four games yet scoring five times. Christophe Dugarry was very impressive during this loan period as he helped them avoid relegation, eventually ending the season in the 13th position.


After the expiration of his loan term, the club rewarded him with a permanent deal. In addition, he is also a Birmingham City Hall of Fame inductee.




Huge amount of money exchanges hands during every transfer window in different football clubs worldwide. However, most times, some of the best of these signings come free – especially on loans.


Isn’t this interesting?