When you take a look across the Championship and see loanees impressing from Premier League clubs, it proves how beneficial a loan move can be for up and coming youngsters desperate for competitive football and a fresh challenge at a new club.
Maybe I am biased because I support Derby County, but Steve McClaren has used the Transfer Market very wisely since arriving at the club. He has brought in Andre Wisdom, the England Under 21 captain and right back that has not looked out of place in Liverpool's starting eleven in the months before he joined the Rams. Patrick Bamford is another acquisition from Chelsea and has shone during his short stint at Derby, scoring impressively on a regular basis and carrying on from his loan spell with League One side Milton Keynes. Michael Keane from Manchester United has also helped the Rams during Richard Keoghs absence through injury, with George Thorne from West Brom having also recently joined, contributing to a large contingent of Premier League youngsters.
Steve McClaren has excellent contacts within the game, especially in the Premier League and he's utilising them to great effect, with Derby currently third in the table at time of writing.
All of the new arrivals have something to prove; they are young, hungry and desperate to impress their parent clubs. Inexperience can hinder a side of course, but Steve McClaren seems to have found the perfect blend.
When you see other clubs loaning in players that had a certain quality but are out of form at the moment, Leon Best for example, it's a gamble.
The argument that taking a young player on loan is also a gamble have some foundation of course, but, in Derby's case, it's not a concern. Michael Keane was on loan at Leicester last year, Wisdom has proven himself in the Premier League and Bamford was on fire at MK Dons and fully deserves his chance at a higher level in the Championship. These types of signings can propel Derby further and further up the table.
It's not all about the young guns at Derby though, with experienced old-timers like John Eustace being one of Derby’s most influential players this season also. Chris Martin, an experienced Premier League player who's scored bundles of goals at Championship level before, is doing it again now he's being given another chance. The two centre halves Buxton and Keogh who may not be the most technical but wear their heart on their sleeve and play for the love of the badge on their shirt are also incredibly influential. Lee Grant, a massively experienced goalkeeper in the Championship who was brought back to Derby at the start of the season, has also impressed and rarely puts a foot wrong. That's basically the spine of the side consisting of players who know the level and what it throws at you. That, added in with the impressive loan signings mentioned, means Derby are in an extremely strong position this campaign and McClaren deserves a huge amount of credit for that.
Automatic promotion is not an unrealistic aim this season. Derby are on the up under McClaren it seems.
By Tom Seabridge - Derby County fan - @Seabo20