Enough loan players to make up a match-day squad
Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn has taken City's loan deals to a staggering 16 for the season with the acquisition of Alan Lee from Crystal Palace. The sheer numbers mean that at least one loan player has to be left out of a matchday squad to comply with regulations.
Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn has taken City's loan deals to a staggering 16 for the season with the acquisition of Alan Lee from Crystal Palace.
Gunn has been responsible for seven of those deals, although the sheer numbers mean that at least one loan player has to be left out of a matchday squad to comply with regulations - although he can name two other loanees, Alan Gow and Chris Killen, who are both deemed to be international loans and therefore exempt.
It leaves Gunn with six domestic loan players - Lee, Ryan Bertrand, David Carney, Adrian Leijer, David Mooney and Jason Shackell - and the rulebook states that a club can name only five in a squad of 16.
The only one of the current crop not signed by Gunn is Ryan Bertrand, who was brought back to City at the start of the season on loan from Chelsea by former manager Glenn Roeder.
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Of Gunn's signings, Killen failed to live up to expectations and is back with his parent club, Celtic, after making just four substitutes' appearances - although able to return to City at a moment's notice.
There have been other drop-outs throughout the season: Troy Archibald-Henville's season-long loan ended without an appearance when he returned to Tottenham. He's now on loan to League Two Exeter.
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Omar Koroma suffered an ankle injury in December and the following month went back to Portsmouth, having made just three league and cup starts. Antoine Sibierski's much-heralded arrival from Wigan soon fizzled out and the veteran striker, scorer of two goals in 13 starts, returned when his loan ran out in January.
Arturo Lupoli's season-long loan from Fiorentina ended early, in frustration, and he's now with promotion-chasing Sheffield United.
Elliott Omozusi wasn't in Gunn's plans and was recalled by Fulham in January.
One major success was central defender John Kennedy, whose time at Norwich was cut short by another knee injury. He returned to Celtic but while Roeder wanted him back, the recovery time was prohibitive. Middlesbrough's Jonathan Grounds had two loan spells, looking better at left back than central defence.
Mooney and Shackell have done well since Gunn brought them in from Reading and Wolves respectively, but perhaps the best loan signing of all was that of Leroy Lita, who remains the club's top scorer with seven goals in 16 starts during a spell that stretched to three months. He's now back at Reading, struggling to get a regular start.
Coincentally, 16 is also the number of full-time contracted professionals who have turned out for the Canaries this season - David Marshall, John Otsemobor, Adam Drury, Dejan Stefanovic, Lee Croft, Sammy Clingan, Jamie Cureton, Gary Doherty, Wes Hoolahan, Mark Fotheringham, David Bell, Darel Russell, Matthew Pattison, Cody McDonald, Carl Cort and Luke Daley.
t 2008/09 loans: