The top four loan acquisitions for the EFL Championship this summer (ranked)

Although the EFL has plenty of money, there are occasions when hiring top-flight talent is the smartest course of action.

Cesare Casadei of Leicester City

As seen by Burnley’s use of players on loan to earn promotion from the Championship division last season, loan agreements may be quite advantageous.

This season, a number of outstanding loanees have had an effect, including Jay Stansfield, who scored a last-second winner on his Birmingham City debut.

This season, players like Liam Delap and Cesare Casadei have really improved. Delap has scored goals and has impressed for Hull and Leicester, respectively.

There may not always be a better deal than a loan contract, regardless of how much money you spend on transfers or bring in from other sources.

You merely need to consider the Championship season from the previous year to notice that. Ian Maatsen, Nathan Tella, and Taylor Harwood-Bellis were on loan to Burnley from Premier League teams; Tommy Doyle and James McAtee moved from Manchester City to Sheffield United over the Pennines; while Luton was given Cody Drameh and Marvelous Nakamba in order to propel them to promotion.

This season, there are a whole host of deals that have caught the eye; Drameh and Harwood-Bellis have returned to the second-tier, but they have yet to feature prominently – and others have already made their mark in what is a difficult division. Football League World takes a look at four loanees who have caught the eye.

Jay Stansfield


Following in the footsteps of his late father Adam, Stansfield had a successful loan season at Exeter City last year. However, when he moved on loan to Birmingham City this summer, there were concerns about how well he would perform.

Even though he has only played 100 minutes of football for the Blues, scoring a last-second victory on your home debut is a good way to win over the Exeter City faithful.

A second goal in the home draw against Millwall demonstrates how high Stansfield could rise.

Liam Delap

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Delap struggled on loan last season at Stoke City and Preston North End. Making 37 appearances in the second-tier, he was rewarded with just four goals all season – three at Stoke, and a measly one at Deepdale.

But this season has seemingly seen a breakthrough for Delap – at least, it has started that way. A goal for Hull on the opening day at Norwich, his first ever assist in the second-tier against Bristol City and the winner at Leicester at the weekend means that he’s well and truly strutting his stuff.

Cesare Casadei

We saw just how good Casadei was last season whilst playing for Reading despite their relegation – and his output is clear to see in a side that will no doubt be challenging for the title come the end of the campaign.

The Chelsea starlet scored on his debut for the Foxes with a last-minute winner against Cardiff, and you only have to look at him wrestling his way into the Reading first-team last season at the age of 20 to know that the former Inter Milan youngster has quite a lot about him.

Alongside Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Harry Winks, this could be a very good midfield trio that is supported by Wilfried Ndidi.

Ki-Jana Hoever

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Good things are said to come in pairs, and Stoke decided to sign Ki-Jana Hoever back from Wolverhampton Wanderers for another loan during the summer transfer season.

With four goals in just 15 appearances from right-back, a position he hadn’t really mastered at either Liverpool or Wolves, the Dutchman made an impression last season.

He was given a second chance to shine at the bet365 Stadium this year, and he took advantage of it by scoring on his second debut against Rotherham. He now appears to have been a wise acquisition.

His ceiling is unquestionably far higher than the second tier.

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