As for loans, I think Rushworth and Bennett were both good for us and we were good for them, but I’m not sure how many others have worked in recent years, for us, the player or the loaning club.
I think we need a complete overhaul of the club, and I’m not sure this is the right way to do it. If WFC become a good club then young players will want to sign for us and big teams will want us to take their best players on loan, but at the moment we are a shambles and are treading water.
Anyway as @DanG_WFC says, “first choice” means nothing if the players don’t want to come here, or our emerging talent (I can dream, can’t I?) wants to go to a club outside the West Mids.
We’ve signed plenty of very good players over the years from our local rivals because we were an attractive club to come to. We need to make ourselves into an attractive destination again.
We have to start to rebuild those bridges. It’s not impossible by any means.
That was one of the great things that Dean Smith did. We had a good style of play and he took care of the players we had on loan. They weren’t all great of course, but clubs started to trust us with their players. Can you imagine getting a loan in with the quality George Evans had now?
Things do take time but if you do things right it doesn’t go unnoticed in the football world.
For what it is worth, I don’t like the current loan system, it doesn’t work well for lower league clubs. I think 3 month loans should be a thing again and be able to be done in between transfer windows.
“So yeah, we want you sign for Walsall on a six month loan, we like the look of you…basically your job will be to play up front and win the ball in the air when the keeper hoofs it…yeah I know you are 5 foot six and a winger but that’s what we want you to do, you need to get with the project, this is our style of play…we want to sign your mate as well, he’s a good defender, basically his job, see, if you don’t win the header when the keeper hoofs it he has to get possession back and then hoof it again, see, give you another chance to win the header…where are you going?, no, don’t run away, come back here, I haven’t told about all the subs at half time, making sure everyone gets a chance to play, see…”
I think that’s true but mainly due to the poor quality of the loans we have been given, not our mismanagement of those loans. The difference with Rushworth and Bennett is that they are quality players, ready to play men’s football. Contrast them with the likes of DJT who are not good enough. So, it’s up to the loaning club, as much as us, to give us some decent players we can develop.
Yes, I wouldn’t disagree, we sign too much crap because we apparently need players to make the numbers up and fill out the squad. So we release Bates and Leak, and let Willock, Foulkes and Perry go on loan then sign Cashman and DJT and Flynn Clarke and others on loan instead of using our own players.
We need a change in philosophy, to go back to developing our own youngsters and using the loan system for signing quality, Rushworth and Bennett as mentioned, and players like McCarthy, Evans, Tyler Roberts, Hiwula etc.