Several star players have been loaned out multiple times during their careers.
A number of them had to go on loan at some point in their careers before breaking into the first team and securing a spot in the team’s starting XI. High profile players such as David Beckham, Juan Román Riquelme, Mohamed Salah, and even Kylian Mbappé have all experienced it, albeit briefly.
However, other star players would have to go through even longer spells before reaching their stardom. Some managed to seal one place in their parent club’s first team, while others were forced to leave and begin their new lives at other clubs. Here are some of the big names who faced such uncertain times in their career.
Star players who have been loaned out several times
Before breaking into the England first team, the now-former Spurs striker spent several seasons on loan at lower league clubs such as Leyton Orient, Millwall, Leicester City (where he played alongside Jamie Vardy), and Norwich City. Thanks to Mauricio Pocchettino for promoting him to Tottenham’s first team in 2014.
Kane’s best form during his loan spell was in 2011/12 with Millwall. He netted nine goals and provided five assists for the Championship side. The 30-year-old striker has been a Bayern Munich target this summer. He finally sealed his move to Bavaria despite his slight hesitation after Spurs accepted the offer.
The Arsenal captain was once coveted by Real Madrid and dubbed the Norwegian Messi. Unfortunately, he had to spend the majority of his time in Madrid on loan to Heerenveen, Vitesse, Real Sociedad, and current club Arsenal, before moving to London permanently in summer 2021.
Ødegaard was fairly consistent during his loan spells with Vitesse Arnhem and Real Sociedad. He managed to score 11 goals and make 13 assists in the former, and contribute seven goals and nine assists in the latter club. Unfortunately, the Norwegian international failed to impress Zinedine Zidane to be included in Los Blancos’ starting XI in the 2021/22 campaign. His decision to switch sides seems to have paid off, as he has been named the club’s skipper since the 2022/23 campaign.
The Italian forward and European top scorer in 2020 was once playing for Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. Yet, he was sent on multiple loans to Siena, Grosetto, Pescara, Sevilla and Torino. After moving to Lazio in 2016, he eventually established himself as a mainstay. Immobile’s best loan stint was in the 2011/12 season with Pescara in Serie B. He bagged 28 goals plus set up six times, leading to clinching the Serie B top scorer award and helping his club secure the Serie A promotion.
One of the best goalkeepers in the world today, Martínez was once an Arsenal loanee at various clubs, including Oxford Utd, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham Utd, Wolves, Getafe and Reading. The Argentinian finally got his chance in the first team due to Bernd Leno’s injury in the 2019/20 campaign.
Martínez opted to leave The Gunners since they did not guarantee the number one position in the following season, despite being the key figure while helping them win FA Cup and Community Shield. The Argentine World Cup hero, who joined Aston Villa afterwards in summer 2020, had his best loan stint with the second tier team, Reading.
The Leicester City legend was once a loanee at clubs such as Darlington, Bury, Falkirk, Cardiff and Coventry, while playing for Manchester City. He was eventually released as he failed to have regular playing time for The Cityzens. Schmeichel then plied his trade at Notts County and then Leeds United before cementing his legendary status in Leicester City, who he joined in 2011. The Danish international is currently playing for OGC Nice.
The Belgian forward appears to be having his misfortune in Chelsea as he has been loaned out in both of his stints at Stamford Bridge. He was on loan with Inter Milan last season, contributing 14 goals and seven assists. He was also part of their UEFA Champions League final run to the final.
Previously, he was loaned out to West Bromwich and Everton in his first spell in London. Lukaku has been a target for Juventus this summer, but his transfer is on the verge of collapse due to the Bianconeri’s plan to swap him for Dušan Vlahović, which does not interest The Blues, plus the transfer fee disagreement.