Loan Watch: 2020/21 season round-up

Joe Willock
Joe Willock

In total, 21 of our youngsters have enjoyed loan spells over the course of the 2020/21 season.

Here's a breakdown of how they performed.


Joe Willock has been one of the breakthrough stars of the Premier League season during his loan spell with Newcastle. 


Our 21-year-old midfielder bagged his seventh goal in seven games by scoring on the final day against Fulham, joining Alan Shearer as one of only two players in the Magpies’ history to score in as many consecutive Premier League matches.


Willock finished the season with eight goals as his good form helped Steve Bruce's side to top-flight. Newcastle ended their campaign 12th in the league after picking up 45 points after 38 games. 

Joe Willock


William Saliba also enjoyed a strong season on loan as Nice finished eighth in Ligue 1. 


As a mark of his achievements, our 20-year-old defender was nominated for a place in the Ligue 1 Team of the Season this week. 


Saliba featured 20 times in the league for his loan side after completing a temporary switch to France on January 4, scoring one goal and keeping four clean sheets.




Daniel Ballard joined Blackpool on loan in October, playing 25 games and keeping an impressive 13 clean sheets in League One this season. 


Our Northern Ireland international helped Neil Critchley's side to a third-place finish before back-to-back wins in the play-offs saw his loan side promoted to the Championship for the first time in six years. 

Daniel Ballard


Ainsley Maitland-Niles joined West Brom on loan on February 1 but couldn't help the Baggies avoid relegation under Sam Allardyce.  


Our versatile midfielder often operated as a wing-back under Mikel Arteta, but played primarily as a midfielder at the Hawthorns. 


Maitland-Niles featured 15 times in the Premier League for West Brom, enjoying wins over Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Southampton.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles


Lucas Torreira won the title with Atletico Madrid this season during a mixed loan spell in the Spanish capital.


The Uruguay midfielder was unable to cement a regular place in Diego Simeone's starting XI, but did still feature 19 times for the champions. 


Torreira made his debut in a 2-0 win against Celta Vigo in late October before coming off the bench to score his first goal for the club in a 3-1 win over Osasuna.


Lucas Torreira



Matteo Guendouzi was a firm fixture in the Hertha Berlin side following his move to Germany on a season-long loan in October. 


The France Under-21s captain played 24 games this season, scoring twice and providing three assists. Guendouzi played his last match for Hertha in May after picking up a leg injury in a 3-0 win over Freiburg, causing him to miss this summer’s European Under-21 Championships.



Sead Kolasinac sealed a return to Schalke on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the season in December. 


Our defender played 17 league games for the German outfit and scored one goal as they were relegated from the Bundesliga. 

Sead Kolasinac


Dinos Mavropanos has played his football for Stuttgart in 2020/21, where he impressed at the back in the Bundesliga.


Our 23-year-old defender made 21 appearances in the league, keeping four clean sheets as his side finished ninth in the table. 


Back in October Harry Clake joined Oldham on loan, initially until January, before his spell was extended for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.


Our 20-year-old right back began his career in midfield but successfully established himself as a solid defender, scoring his first competitive goal in a 2–1 victory over Cheltenham in November. 


Clarke played 32 times in League Two this season, also providing one assist as Oldham finished 18th in the table having picked up 54 points in 46 games. 

Harry Clarke


Ben Sheaf enjoyed another successful loan spell this season, playing 30 times for Coventry City in the Championship.


Despite picking up a knock towards the end of the season, Sheaf returned to feature against Millwall on the final day as Mark Robins' side put six past the south Londoners. 


Coventry finished the season 16th in the league with 55 points from 46 games.


Ben Sheaf


Matt Smith spent the season on loan in League One at both Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic. Our young midfielder scored two goals and provided four assists in 34 games across the two spells. 


Smith returned to north London in the January transfer window after playing the first half of the domestic campaign at Swindon. He then completed a move to the Addicks but struggled for regular game time as the season drew to a close. 


Zech Medley joined Scottish outfit Kilmarnock for the second half of the season. Our 20-year-old defender linked up with Tommy Wright's men in February having struggled for game time at Gillingham. 


Medley played seven times in the Scottish Premiership and scored one goal before Kilmarnock were beaten by Dundee in the play-off final, ending their 28-year stay in the top-flight. 

Zech Medley


Trae Coyle also spent time at Gillingham this season, playing 13 times and scoring two goals in League One. 


Our 20-year-old forward returned to the club in January, playing his last minutes for the Gills in a 3-1 defeat to Northampton at Sixfields Stadium on December 29. 

Trae Coyle


Joseph Olowu completed a loan move to Wealdstone in February following time with Cork City earlier this season.


Our 20-year-old defender made 15 appearances for Cork before playing 13 times for Wealdstone.


Olowu also made three appearances for our under-23s in between his loan switch. 

James Olayinka

James Olayinka has spent the season on loan at League Two side Southend United. Our young midfielder played 20 games in the league, scoring twice. 


Olayinka also featured four times for our under-23s, notching against Brighton & Hove Albion on the road in September. 

James Olayinka

Tolaji Bola

Tolaji Bola has played for both Rochdale and our under-23s this season. The 22-year-old featured 11 times under Brian Barry-Murphy for the Dale, keeping two clean sheets. 


Bola also played in nine Premier League 2 matches, picking up one win and four draws in that time.


Tolaji Bola

Mark McGuinness

Mark McGuinness played 24 times for Ipswich Town this season, keeping nine clean sheets and scoring one goal in League One.

Our Republic of Ireland centre back's calming presence helped Paul Cook's side earn a respectable ninth-placed finish in the league.

Mark McGuinness


Tyreece John-Jules

Tyreece John-Jules spent this season at Doncaster, playing 18 games and scoring five goals. 

John-Jules' season was somewhat stifled after picking up a hamstring injury in January, ruling him out for three months.

But our 20-year-old forward made his long-awaited return against Shrewsbury Town in the league and ended the season on a high, scoring twice in his last six games. 


Tyreece John-Jules

Jordi Osei-Tutu

Jordi Osei-Tutu played just nine matches for loan side Cardiff City this season after a stop-start campaign.

Our 22-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in October after impressing at right back and had six months on the sidelines before playing his final two games for the club in April. He has since returned to the club. 


Jordi Osei-Tutu

Dejan Iliev

Dejan Iliev joined League One side Shrewsbury Town on a short-term loan deal on October. He made three appearances, keeping a clean sheet in goal against Wimbledon, before returning to the club in January.


Dejan Iliev

Zak Swanson

Zak Swanson played three times for Maastricht in the Eerste Divisie this season. Our right-back also featured 14 times for our under-23s.


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