12 surprising loan spells you've almost certainly forgotten about
Kazuyuki Toda to Tottenham
One of the most bizarre signings Tottenham have ever made, Toda moved to White Hart Lane on loan from Shimizu S-Pulse in 2003. The Japan international had played all four of the co-hosts’ games at the previous year’s World Cup, and Spurs fought off competition from Sunderland to land the 25-year-old on a 12-month loan deal.
Manager Glenn Hoddle called his new recruit an “immensely impressive midfielder” upon his arrival at White Hart Lane, but only played him four times in the Premier League before the utility man joined Den Haag in 2004.
James Milner to Swindon
Milner became the second-youngest player in Premier League history when he made his Leeds debut against West Ham aged 16 years and 309 days in November 2002. Forty-seven days later, he became the division’s youngest ever scorer when he netted against Sunderland, although that record was later broken by Everton’s James Vaughan.
Despite his early exploits in the Leeds first team, Milner was sent on loan to Swindon at the start of the 2003/04. He only spent a month at the County Ground, playing six times and scoring against Luton and Peterborough in League One.
Jordan Henderson to Coventry
A Sunderland supporter who joined his hometown club’s academy as an eight-year-old, Henderson went on to represent the first team 79 times before his move to Liverpool in 2011. His first appearance for the Black Cats came in a 5-0 loss to Chelsea three years prior, after which he was loaned to Coventry to gain first-team experience.
Henderson initially moved to the Ricoh Arena on a one-month deal in January 2009, but the arrangement was extended on the back of some promising performances. The midfielder played 10 matches for the Sky Blues in total, returning to Sunderland in April after breaking a metatarsal.
Adam Lallana to Bournemouth
Lallana is well known for his association with Southampton, the club for whom he played 265 games in three different divisions between 2006 and 2014. Saints weren’t the only side on the south coast he represented before a 2014 move to Liverpool, though: the England international also enjoyed a brief stay at Bournemouth in 2007/08.
Southampton poached a 12-year-old Lallana from the Cherries’ academy in 2000, but he returned to Dean Court seven years later to make three league appearances while on loan to the third-tier team.
Wojciech Szczesny to Brentford
Szczesny is now Juventus's No.1 following the departure of Gianluigi Buffon to PSG, so suffice to say he's come a long way since a 28-game spell with League One side Brentford. The Pole made his professional debut for Arsenal two months before moving across the capital to Griffin Park in November 2009, with the two London clubs initially agreeing a one-month loan deal.
Szczesny impressed Bees boss Andy Scott, and the temporary transfer was extended until the end of the campaign. In 2015, Juve’s current custodian was voted Brentford’s goalkeeper of the decade by supporters.
Andy Kellett to Manchester United
There will be many Manchester United fans who've never heard of Kellett – and with good reason. The Bolton academy product had recently made 12 appearances on loan at League Two side Plymouth when the Red Devils made their interest known in January 2015, with Wanderers boss Neil Lennon admitting that he thought someone was “winding him up” when the 20-time English champions made a bid to borrow Kellett for the remainder of the season.
The youngster played 10 games for United’s under-23s but, perhaps unsurprisingly, never came close to breaking into the first team. He's now playing under Kevin Nolan at Notts County.