Not all of England’s World Cup squad were always on top of their game
What I especially like about the composition of the current 23-man England World Cup squad is that is allows the supporters of numerous non-Premiership clubs to claim some share of the perceived “glory”.
The reason? In total, 16 of the players have, at one time or another, been loaned out to perform for other teams.
Loaning players has been going on since the game started and some of the loans could be more accurately described as “playing a ringer” but the system became a little more formalised and regulated back in 1966 – spookily the year England won the World Cup.
I don’t know about others, but that figure of 16 sounded high to me. Three or four, maybe but two-thirds of the squad? I would not have thought that.
My, perhaps prejudiced, impression is that players who go out on loan are not thought to be quite up to inclusion in the first team on a regular basis. Close, but no cigar. A subtle way of hinting to the player that they may not have what it takes to make it at the highest level of the game.
Still, I’m happy to note that the composition of the squad seems to prove me wrong. Obviously, the players did have what it takes. They had just been loaned out to improve their skills and get regular playing time to England’s benefit.
So, where did the players go on loan? Here is the list I’ve gleaned from research on Wikipedia. You will spot several non-league names among them.
In squad number order …
1 Jordan Pickford: While with home-town side Sunderland he was loaned to Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston North End before joining Everton, making him the most travelled man in the squad with six loans (equal with fellow keeper Nick Pope).
2 Kyle Walker: When he was with Sheffield United he played for Northampton Town. Later, after joining Spurs, he was loaned back to Sheffield United, then QPR and Aston Villa.
3 Danny Rose: From Spurs he has been loaned to Watford, Peterborough United, Bristol City and Sunderland.
4 Eric Dier: While he was an academy player in Portugal with Sporting Clube de Portugal he was loaned to Everton.
5 John Stones: No loans.
6 Harry Maguire: During his time on Hull City’s books he was loaned to Wigan Athletic.
7 Jesse Lingard: Before finally breaking into Manchester United’s starting line-up he went to Leicester City, Birmingham City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County.
8 Jordan Henderson: Another lad from the Sunderland area who played for the local team. From Sunderland he was loaned to Coventry City.
9 Harry Kane: Hard to believe, but the current leading scorer in the World Cup struggled to establish himself at Spurs in the early days. He was loaned out to Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City. Didn’t turn out too bad, did he?
10 Raheem Sterling: No loans.
11 Jamie Vardy: Also, no loans, but he did play non-league football when Fleetwood Town were in the Conference.
12 Kieran Trippier: While on Manchester City’s books he was loaned to Barnsley and Burnley who he joined before ending up at Spurs.
13 Jack Butland: While with Birmingham City the keeper was loaned to Cheltenham Town; when at Stoke he also played for former side Birmingham City, Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby County. All of England’s keepers moved around a fair bit.
14 Danny Welbeck: While with Manchester United he went out on loan to both Preston North End and Sunderland.
15 Gary Cahill: When at Aston Villa he played for Burnley and Sheffield United.
16 Phil Jones: No loans.
17 Fabian Delph: While at Aston Villa he went out on loan to Leeds United.
18 Ashley Young: No loans.
19 Marcus Rashford: No loans.
20 Dele Alli: The Spurs player has also appeared for Milton Keynes Dons.
21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Registered with Chelsea but has just had a season on loan at Crystal Palace.
22 Trent Alexander-Arnold: No loans.
23 Nick Pope: While on Charlton Athletic’s books he was loaned to Harrow Borough, Welling United, Cambridge United, Aldershot Town, York City and Bury.
By Dave Buckley