10 disastrous Premier League loan spells including Saul Niguez and Kim Kallstrom

Many Chelsea fans had high hopes about the talented Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez' loan move to Stamford Bridge last summer.

To say the least, things haven't exactly gone to plan after the Spaniard featured just 10 times under Thomas Tuchel in the Premier League last campaign. But the midfielder isn't alone, with a host of names failing to live up to expectations after making a temporary switch to England.

Indeed, Chelsea's fierce London rivals Arsenal have had their fair share of loan flops, while Manchester United have also been unfortunate. With that in mind, the Daily Star Sport takes a look at the other disastrous loan spells that did not go according to plan…

Saul Niguez

The Spaniard went on to make a total of 23 games for the Blues, starting 12 of those, but many soon realised his spell would be brief.

Scoring only a goal and providing an assist in a Chelsea shirt, he said upon his return to the Metropolitano Stadium: "I would like to tell you how I felt during this adventure. Things didn't start well at all. After a long time at home, changing everything wasn't easy. Little by little things got better.

"Everything in life serves to improve and learn, and that's what I take from this adventure. I'd like to thank the club for trying to take care of every detail to make me feel at home. But above all, I wanted to thank my team-mates. They have been fundamental so that I wouldn't fall apart. They helped me to continue supporting the team and live a calm and positive day-to-day."

Kim Kallstrom

Despite many regarding Arsenal's signing of Kallstrom as bizarre, the Sweden describes his time there as a success. The midfielder signed from Spartak Moscow on deadline day in January 2014, but did not play any games for then boss Arsene Wenger initially due to a back injury.

Kallstrom then went on to make just four appearances for the Gunners and was regarded as the club's worst signings, despite helping the Gunners to winning the FA Cup after a nine-year trophy drought. The now 39-year-old later revealed how he picked up his injury during a training camp in Abu Dhabi.

He said: "Lots of people think they know about this injury but let me explain it properly. We were training on the beach – this is so embarrassing – and it was a proper training session too, not just one for fun. I say it was a beach, it was more like concrete. Anyway, we had a game there and I fell badly on a small rock.

"I hit my back and had some pain. Obviously we were due to go back to Moscow the day after so we didn't do any medical check-up there because it wasn't too bad at the time. We informed Arsenal straight away that I had a problem with my back and that I had no idea what it was, so they just told me to come along anyway.

"It was a bit of a blur because the deal had to be done quickly. I came to London, we had the medical and we found out there were some problems but we arranged the deal anyway. I thought the transfer would've been off because I was injured but we worked out a deal between the clubs that said I could stay. It was really the last few minutes of the transfer window so either they signed me with a bad back, or they didn't sign anyone because there wasn't any time left. That's why they took a chance on me and in the end, it worked out quite well."

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Denis Suarez

Another failed masterpiece from Arsenal. The Spaniard who claimed he had rejected other offers from elsewhere to join Arsenal as it was his dream transfer, quickly turned out to be a nightmare.

Suarez joined Unai Emery's side in January 2019 as the Gunners looked to reinforce their midfield towards the back end of the season. But the former Barcelona man managed just six appearances in his four-month spell, after sustaining injuries. Suarez later revealed he was only playing at 30 per cent of his full fitness.

"I played in my first game against Manchester City and then 10 days later I got injured against Bate Boris in the Europa League," he said. "I had too much pain in my groin. I did tests and scans and nothing was in my groin, but there was a big edema (build-up of fluid) around the pubic bone.

"I had sharp pain when I ran, when I shot, when I passed. It was so difficult. I was at something like 30 per cent of my fitness."

Alexandre Pato

The Brazilian's loan move to Stamford Bridge was another disastrous move from the Chelsea board in 2016. He turned out to be a limited impact in the club, scoring his only English top-flight goal – a penalty.

After that goal at Villa Park in their 4-0 win over Aston Villa, he played 64 minutes against Swansea and did not play for the club again following a spell of injuries.

"I still didn't get it," he said upon reflecting on his time at the club. "I thought that Chelsea would loan me for six months and then I’d sign for three years. I didn’t realise that they could say no after the loan."

"Had I known? I would have gone elsewhere. It was a pity, because I was training really well, and the coach only played me twice. I never understood why."

Simone Zaza

West Ham fans would have wanted to quickly erase Simone Zaza's season-long loan stint from Juventus.

Then manager Slaven Bilic opted for the £5million fee to bring Zaza to East London in order for him to become the frontman after missing out on priority targets Carlos Bacca and Alexandre Lacazette.

Safe to say, things did not pan out that way with the Italian making just 11 appearances, failing to score once. There was also a £20m obligation to buy from Juve if the player exceeded a certain number of appearances for the club – as a result Bilic refused to play the striker.

Speaking on his time at the London Stadium, he said: "Everything started badly from the outset, I think the main blame lies with me because I was not right mentally, I was very negative and in all the things that happened I never saw the positive side.

"There was an atmosphere, a culture very different to mine. That was a problem. Now I'm here I feel bad not to have shown in England what I'm capable of."

Renato Sanches

The highly rated Portuguese prospect endured a difficult time at Swansea City back in 2017. Sanches made the loan move from Bayern Munich and ended up making just 15 appearances in all competitions, failing to score a single goal as the Welsh side were relegated from the English top-flight.

"When I went to Swansea, the intention was to get more minutes so I be called for the World Cup," Sanches said. "But physically I was not fine, because I noticed how I am now, compared to six months ago, or a year ago, at Swansea.

"I feel the difference completely. I was running and would think of my leg, 'I cannot tear it again'. I was scared. I think things happen for a reason, so we can learn.

"I think there are certain things we do not know how to respond to and that we do not know how to say why they happened."

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Fulham supporters had high expectations for the Chelsea midfielder. His loan move to Craven Cottage came in 2020 following his promising spell at Crystal Palace in the 2017/18 season.

The 26-year-old failed to cement his place in the Whites' starting team, despite featuring 33 times, but struggled to replicate his form from his time at Palace.

"Fulham was a very difficult spell for me, so I had to put that behind me," he said. "I was struggling mentally and needed to focus on just taking risks in training and get that feel back, but it eventually came and I was doing really well in games, so I’ve had my injury and I’ve had a season now to get fit and feel confident in my body and this season is where I hit the ground running."

Serge Gnabry

The German winger struggled to make an impact at West Brom despite his potential. Gnabry arrived at The Hawthorns on a season long loan spell from Arsenal at the age of 19.

Eventually he made a single appearance for Tony Pulis' side in the 3-2 defeat to Chelsea at home, featuring just 12 minutes. After then he went on to play for the under-23s side, scoring twice and assisting once in his eight appearances.

Upon reflecting of his time in Birmingham, he said: "I tried my best at West Brom and it didn't work out. Mentally for me, in that time at West Brom, I said to myself: 'Even though I have zero chance of playing, all I can do is work hard.' You always know your worth, off the pitch or on the pitch.

"I knew my capabilities. But I would say the mental side progressed really high during that time and helped me be who I am now."

Jese Rodriguez

The Spaniard arrived at Stoke in 2017 in a transfer that caused much hype between fans and the club. But he just wasn't able to live up to those expectations in a Potters shirt.

He went on to make 13 Premier League appearances, while scoring once and assisting as many times before being left out of the squad for the majority of the season.

Reflecting whether moving to the bet365 was the worst move of his career, he said: “It’s true. I had some important offers from Italy but in the end I made other decisions.

"In recent years I have worn the shirts of some of the most prestigious clubs in the world and I have won trophies such as La Liga, Copa del Rey, Ligue 1, the French Super Cup, the Champions League, the European Super Cup, the Club World Cup.

"The worst adventure was certainly the one in Premier League, where for various circumstances I did not feel good."

Radamel Falcao

The Colombian had a big reputation upon his arrival in England. But eventually he flopped twice, in two different English clubs – Manchester United and Chelsea.

The striker made the loan move from Monaco in 2014, but failed to get replicate his fine form he had shown in previous clubs. Across two seasons, he only managed five goals – one for Chelsea and four for United.

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