As the final day of the loan transfer deadline comes to a close, this article is to take a look at the various loan players that Coventry City have signed this season. As with most Football League clubs nowadays this list is a long one reflecting the financial realities of squad building outside the top flight.
Our most recent loan signing joins from Sheffield Wednesday where he played a key role in their promotion to the Championship and survival in the past few seasons. Recently though he has been out of favour as Stuart Gray has looked to bring through the younger players that were often ignored under Dave Jones’s reign. Prutton is a tough tackling box-to-box midfielder and arguably provides something the club has missed since releasing Steve Jennings in the summer. His initial role will be to cover for the suspended John Fleck but you feel that the veteran midfielder could play an important role in mentoring both Fleck and Thomas on and off the pitch.
Marks out of 10: 6 – A good short-term signing, on paper at least.
After a long search for that physical type of centre-forward who could link play that has lasted since Leon Clarke’s January departure, the signing of Nathan Eccleston shows how tough Pressley has found his search. If there was a player to compare the former Liverpool youth-teamer to it would be Callum Wilson, Eccleston is a pacey striker who likes to run with the ball. In a perfect world we would have Eccleston here as Callum Wilson’s back-up, however given our struggles in the transfer market Eccleston will have to at least try to drop deep and adapt his game slightly to fit in at Coventry.
Marks out of 10: 5 – Not the most inspiring signing given his previous record but looked decent on his debut against Stevenage.
Brought in after a long injury lay-off to allow some respite for the out-of-form Conor Thomas, Robinson impressed on debut last night. Another box-to-box midfielder, Anton Robinson is someone who likes to have the ball at his feet and to take opponents. You feel that at times this trait may not be what you want from a central midfielder but Robinson was able to put it to reasonable effect against a tough Stevenage side. Clearly playing for a permanent deal given his exclusion from first-team affairs at Huddersfield it will be interesting to see whether he can turn this early promise into something productive at Coventry.
Marks out of 10: 6 – A slightly underwhelming signing from the outset but showed some skill and steel last night.
Arrived on a curious deal from Arsenal that involved him returning to his parent club to play in youth-team games. Akpom is clearly a player of immense talent and could be the type of player that in a season or two’s time will score 20 goals in a season. Unfortunately Akpom’s talent isn’t matched by an ability to anticipate chances or close down defenders as is needed in League One. I feel as if that we didn’t see the real Chuba Akpom during his brief stay at the club and this clearly wasn’t helped by the ridiculous loan deal that was set up by Arsenal which didn’t really seem to benefit either clubs, or indeed the player himself.
Marks out of 10: 3 – Looks like a good player but has a lot to learn before he’s ready to play first-team football at any level yet.
After impressing for Oldham against us back in December it was very exciting to see Coventry go out and sign him on loan. A versatile and skilfull player that could play on either wing or behind the striker, Petrasso provided energy and drive whenever he played for the club. For me, Petrasso was the type of player that Franck Moussa would be if he was less selfish and more willing to work hard for the team. The only disappointment was that we were unable to see him play out the rest of the season at the club after Stoke attempted to take advantage of his contract situation at QPR.
Marks out of 10: 8 – A lot of promise and is hopefully a player we’ll see again in the not too distant future.
The enigma that is Rory Donnelly. After signing on transfer deadline day following a two-year stint in the Swansea reserve team, you would have thought that Donnelly would have wanted to grab the opportunity for first-team football with both hands. However after a single training session, he wanted to return to obscurity in South Wales. Maybe it was a lack of desire to work hard for his place in the game or he caught early wind of Michael Laudrup’s dismissal, we’ll never know the true reasons that he came and went.
Marks out of 10: 1 – Wasted everybody’s time, including his own.
McGeouch arrived at Coventry with a difficult to pronounce name and an impressive highlights reel on YouTube. However we’ve been unable to really see what he can provide for the first-team having only featured 4 times as a late substitute. The story is that he’s lacking match fitness and he’s been disadvantaged by Pressley going out and signing Mark Marshall and Michael Petrasso who’ve surpassed him in the pecking order out wide. There’s still time for McGeouch to make an impact, with the Scot looking impressive in recent under-21 games. When we’ll actually get to see him at first-team level is hard to tell.
Marks out of 10: 2 – Yet to make an impact on the first-team despite having a few months under his belt.
After at one time being the next big thing in English football, Delfouneso’s career so far has to be seen as one of steady decline. The player who is probably the closest Coventry have come to filling Leon Clarke’s boots has thus far been underwhelming. Another player whose talent is pretty clear to see but who at times looks completely disinterested in the game going on around him. There have been a number of promising moments from Delfouneso, including an assist at Bristol City and the winner against Walsall, however he has yet to put together a convincing 90 minutes.
Marks out of 10: 4 – Could do better.
Chris Maguire will be remembered for the two fantastic free-kicks that he scored to win the game in Milton Keynes. At a time when the team was struggling for form following the loss to injury of Leon Clarke, Maguire provided the impetus to keep our play-off push back up-and-running. Maguire though failed to make an impact after that wonderful match-winning performances, he struggled to get in to the game against Crewe and was eventually dropped before being recalled by Sheffield Wednesday. Since then Maguire has had a much bigger impact in revitalising Sheffield Wednesday’s season and his been instrumental under new boss Stuart Gray.
Marks out of 10: 7 – If only for that game against MK Dons, Maguire will be remembered fondly for his short stay at the club.
The theme of the first-half of the season was Jordan Clarke being a defensive weakness due to his lack of height. Seaborne was eventually brought in in November in order to stiffen up a defence that was leaking goals at an alarming rate. From his first few performances he looked like a decent player and perhaps just what we needed at the time. Since signing permanently Seaborne has struggled for form and has often been guilty of handing opponents presentable opportunities. If only Seaborne’s physicality could be combines with Jordan Clarke’s pace, composure and ball-playing ability, then we’d have the perfect centre-back.
Marks out of 10: 5 – Whilst he’s largely been unconvincing he has at times provided the team with some much needed height at the back.
The pattern to our loan signings in terms of strikers has been an inability to find someone similar to Leon Clarke when a replacement was needed. Ostensibly Chris Dagnall was brought in to make up for the loss, then to injury, of Leon Clarke back in November. After scoring on his debut with a deflected effort against MK Dons. An energetic forward who very much matched Pressley’s ethos of constant pressing Dagnall is perhaps the opposite of Chuba Akpom in that what he lacked in talent he makes up for with a willingness to work for the team. Unfortunately after a decent loan spell Dagnall was poached by Leyton Orient after the club decided that they couldn’t afford his wages.
Marks out of 10: 5 – A limited footballer but one who really worked hard for the team, might have helped us through our rough patches in the past couple of months.
Finally we go back to the first loan signing of the season, Jamar Loza. The Norwich youth-teamer was brought in at a time of great stability with the first team when everybody knew the starting XI. The departure of Mathieu Manset, for god knows what reason, left the club in the lurch and looking for a player happy to play a bit-part role to Callum Wilson and Leon Clarke. Loza did just that, playing only once as a substitute in the comfortable victory over Notts County at Sixfields. Since then he’s recently moved on loan to Southend where he’s impressed after a non-descript spell at Leyton Orient.
Marks out of 10: 4 – Did his job of being a back-up player and looked decent when he came on, for what it’s worth.