why do soccer teams loan players [EXPLAINED]

For those new to the European soccer world, you may have heard of players getting loaned out to play for another team and wondered why this practice happens. You’ve come to the right place.

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Soccer teams loan players so inexperienced players might gain the experience in the lower division necessary for their careers. Some other reasons include allowing the club a way to test out players, for clubs the player was originally at to raise money or to settle disputes with players, and more.

Keep reading to learn all the reasons why a soccer team in Europe might loan their players.

European teams work differently than teams in other continents

Something you should know about European soccer (association football) teams is that they work differently than the teams in the Americas, Africa, or Asia. Soccer (or association football) is so huge in Europe that they have a way to organize clubs into a hierarchy of leagues, which is divided up into 11 different divisions. There are nearly 200 different leagues in this hierarchal pyramid.

If someone wants to make their way up this pyramid because they dream of playing for a team in the Premier League, they must first work way their way up the pyramid, starting with the bottom division, which is 11. Players who have not yet even made it to Division 11 will have a better chance of getting into it if they have the experience to back it, hence why teams will often loan their players for a time to play for a team in the 11th division.

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Teams can test out a player before they sign them on

If a team is looking for a new player, they can receive a player on a loan instead of committing to that player permanently. Most teams or clubs are looking for a player that is going to serve them well and help them to move up a level or two.

Loaning allows for that player to play for a season or even just a few weeks, and if that player proves themselves to be a great fit for the team and a player that greatly benefits the team, then the team can decide to sign them onto the team as a more permanent player or to at least play for the next season.

That way, if the team doesn’t feel like the player is a good fit or they don’t play well enough to their preference, then they can let the player go at the end of their loan and take a loan for a different player, and repeat this process until they find the best set of permanent players.

Young players can gain valuable experience

The teams themselves aren’t the only ones that benefit from the loaning process. Players, especially young and inexperienced players, can take advantage of the loan by gaining valuable experience playing in a lower division league, especially given that teams in these leagues play much more frequently than players on teams outside this hierarchy.

Clubs may choose to loan out a player because they either could benefit from developing their skills a bit more or they have a lot of potential to make it far in the soccer hierarchy of leagues. There are some clubs, both inside and outside the hierarchy pyramid, that specifically look for young players to develop.

Players can improve their chances of getting into the 11th division

When a player is loaned out to play in a league in the lower 11th division, then they will leave the lower division with a lot of experience they wouldn’t have gained quite as rapidly had they continued to play for their original team, not on the pyramid.

Then, once they’re able to work their way up, they can return back to playing for a division 11 league and go into it with the experience they gained while they played for a division 11 team. Often, if the player performs well enough the first time, then the division 11 team might sign them on to play for them permanently, so they never have to go back to their original team.

Players who have not previously played for a competitive league have a harder time getting into those leagues because of a lack of experience, whereas those who are experienced show that experience when they try out for lower leagues.

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Clubs may need a way to reduce wages and raise money

If a club loans out a player to another club, it may be because they’re tight on money. Loaning players out helps them to raise money because the club they loaned that player out to has to pay that player’s wages. This lets the original club off the hook, and plus they’ll be earning the money that the other club pays them for the player.

If a club is in some sort of financial trouble, they can make some extra earnings very quickly by letting one of their players go (especially if they have more than 11 players) and receiving the wage from the club they are loaning to.

Often a club will loan out a player because that player doesn’t play for them regularly (due to having a full-time job or other responsibilities) and the wages to pay for that player are as high as the more regular players. This also helps the club to save money, and the player can be loaned out for however long they’re available to play.

Players can get more playing time

When loaned out to play for another team, especially if the team they’ve signed onto is not on the pyramid and the team they’re loaned out to is, the player will see a significant increase in the amount of time they can play for.

This is because teams in leagues play games much more frequently than teams that aren’t or have yet to enter the lower-level division, so clubs will loan out players so that they can get more lower-division playing action.

When a player plays much more than they’re used to, as well as more regularly and similarly to a full-time job, they can develop their skills more rapidly which will help them out greatly in their future careers.

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It frees up space on a team for newly signed players

Loaning out players helps a club out by freeing up space on the team so that they can sign on to a new player. This is especially useful if a player isn’t doing well for a team, they can just loan that player out and then have more room to sign a player who is going to help their team level up.

Players that are loaned out can then be sold to the team they were loaned out to if that player’s skills and qualities complement their teammates and impress the team. A club may also want to free up space if they have too many players on their team because teams can only have a maximum number of players.

This is especially so after they’ve signed on a new player who is going to complement their other players or greatly benefit the team better than another player. That other player can be loaned out to another team where they will be a better fit.

Loaning settles disputes between a player and the club

Sometimes a player may come to a disagreement with their club or have some other sort of dispute. If the dispute can’t be settled any other way and the player is still unhappy with their club (similarly to how an employee might be unhappy with how their boss runs the workplace or treats them), then the club will loan the player out to another club.

Often this is what settles those disputes fully because the player can get away from the club they were not happy with and feel much happier and at peace with their new club. Often this can become a turning point in that player’s career, especially if, because of their previous experience, they considered quitting soccer altogether.

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