No such thing as a bad first loan for City

Queens Park Rangers' Sam McCallum in action during the Carabao Cup third round match at the Kiyan Pr

Sam McCallum is one of 17 Norwich City players currently out on loan. - Credit: PA

Several Norwich City stars of past and present have benefited from a loan system designed to enhance their development rather than signal the end of their spell at the club. 

From James Maddison to Ben Godfrey to Todd Cantwell, the Canaries have utilised the loans programme to produce talents for their first team or to make a profit for the football club to reinvest into new signings or infrastructure. 

Neil Adams has been responsible for overseeing those players plying their trades away from Carrow Road. That has seen the ex-City boss end up watching very few matches in NR1 since he returned to the club in July 2015. 

His promotion to the role of assistant sporting director has seen the role taken by Andy Hughes, who will be hoping to continue the success of the loan programme over the next few seasons. 

City currently have 17 players out on loan, ranging from young talents to players whose futures lie away from Carrow Road. 

But what does it take for a loan move to be successful? For Adams, that can come down to responding to moves that don't work out and learning from the experience.

That usually provides Norwich with the chance to assess which players are good enough to make the grade, as Adams explains. 

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“It’s not always the case but certainly ones who are going on their first loan and it doesn’t work out, i.e. from a point that they don’t get in the team, there’s always something you can take from that. 

“Why didn’t it work out? Those are the things that you learn. If you keep doing it then obviously we’ve got a problem or an issue, or you’re not good enough. 

“Certainly players going on loan, yes you want them to play and succeed, and invariably they always don’t, but the ones that don’t we equally scrutinise that as well as the ones that do work. 

Todd Cantwell of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London

A loan away from Carrow Road propelled Todd Cantwell into the Norwich City first-team.

“If they don’t learn from a bad loan then they are in trouble," the City legend said. 

“It’s always on the players. We monitor them as fully as we can, Andy will do that now, we’ve had a transition period, but we tell the players that it’s all about them. 

“We can put everything in place for you but on a game day, that will ultimately determine how you do. 

“So go and do it, we’ll give you all the support and every opportunity, but if you’re not good enough, you don’t work hard enough, or you don’t put the application and effort in, then it won’t work. 

“They’re well aware of that, so you hope if it doesn’t work for a particular reason then, okay, fine, we’ll give you that, but don’t let it happen again.” 

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