Will any of our loan rangers ever get their first team chance?

We take a look at those who spent this campaign away from east London as well as those we brought in

Loan deals can be historically hit or miss. For every Dani, there is a Robbie Keane. For every Alex Song 2014 -15, there is an Alex Song 2015-16. 

It is best not to catch feelings or fall for players that are contractually obliged to leave you.

And it seems unlikely that many of our current loanees are tugging at the heart strings of their temporary fanbases. 

Young centre backs Aji Alese (on loan at Cambridge United) and Goncalo Cardoso (at Basle) have made just 10 appearances between them and whilst they may benefited from the experience of a different environment, it seems unlikely that they will be coming back to West Ham better prepared to command more game time. 

It is probable that their unsuccessful loans are indicative that their time at the club is nearing the end.

Likewise Felipe Anderson has failed to set hearts racing at Porto. The Brazilian has made just nine appearances, scored no goals and managed just one assist. 

Hammers fans had hoped that he would play his way into form and return rejuvenated and ready to terrorise defences as he did in his first season. 

Alas, this hasn’t happened, and it seems likely that the one-time club record signing will be surplus to requirements when he returns, with a plethora of players ahead of him in the pecking order and seemingly more suited to Moyes’ team-first mentality.

However, not all of our loanees have failed to take the opportunity afforded them.

Winston Reid, fresh from getting minutes into his legs over in the MLS came back in January, only to be loaned out again to Championship side Brentford. 

The Kiwi has played 10 games for Brentford in their promotion push, was man of the match on his debut, and had Bee’s fans singing his praises. 

It was great to see words like ‘giant’ and ‘top class’ being bandied about for our former captain and surely all Hammers fans would love to see the one time Hammer of the Year secure a move to such an upwardly mobile club. 

Maybe even in the Premier League if Reid’s experience can help them successfully navigate the playoffs. He has, after all, been there and done it before.

Dapo Afolayan after five goals and an assist for our PL2 side and a goal for the first team in the FA Cup, joined Bolton in the January window to gain some more first team experience. 

He has played 24 times and contributed three assists in all competitions for the recently promoted League Two side. 

He has made a good impression operating as a second striker or attacking midfielder, and Wanders manager Ian Evatt has expressed that he would like to keep the 23-year-old at the club. 

It remains to be seen what Moyes has in mind for him, with the Harrow-born attacker out of contract in the summer. 

However if Moyes decides against offering him a new deal, Afolayan seems to have done enough to ensure he has good options to kick start his career elsewhere.

Xande Silva also has done his future prospects no harm. On loan at Greek club Aris Saloniki, he has played 31 times, scoring four times and assisting a further three. 

The wide attacker is one Hammers fans have always been curious to see given a chance and it’s possible the experience gained may help see him granted the opportunity next season, especially with Moyes’ tendency of converting wingers to strikers. But he has a lot of talent ahead of him so only time will tell.

We have, of course, had our own players on loan this season. Craig Dawson’s arrival was met with, at best, indifference, but his dogged, body-on-the-line performances and leadership at the back have won fans over. 

His 18 appearances have triggered a clause turning the loan deal to a permanent one and for the reported £3m fee, he will be a good option for next season.

Said Benrahma’s loan was always destined to become permanent at the end of the season. 

The Algerian made a slow start to his Hammers career, with Moyes wanting him to contribute more for the team both out of possession and in terms of his decision making with the ball. 

He has contributed six assists in 29 appearances, some of them proving to be match winners and there is hope amongst fans that once he notches his first goal, he will really push on. Despite his undoubted talents he is yet to fully convince, the club decided to pay the transfer fee in January in order to allow room for us to acquire Jesse Lingard, which may have been Benrahma’s most important ‘assist’ all season.

Lingard has sparkled in Stratford, scoring six goals and registering four assists in 12 games for the Hammers. 

His running and ability to find space has helped add an extra dimension to our attack and has helped to elevate the players around him in a way not dissimilar to a certain Frenchmen back in 2015/16. 

Lingard has seemingly rediscovered his love for the game, won the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for February and forced his way back into the England squad. 

Making his move permanent will be right at the top of Moyes’ to-do list in the summer. Fans will be hoping that the feelings we have caught for the loanee are reciprocated and that he makes East London his permanent home. 

*Listen to Greg’s podcast called The People’s Pundits (@peoples_pundits) talking all things Premier League.

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