“Some boys join Academies at the age of nine, so they might not have played grassroots football and they might be in the program for 10 or 12 years. So to leave Carrington, to maybe have to work out your own transport to a different training ground, to go and meet new people, to walk into a dressing room for the first time – it’s quite a nerve-wracking thing to do and it’s something that you have to practice – all those things that come with a loan are really, really important.
“Yes, getting minutes on the pitch is quite important, but it’s not the only measure of success of a loan period. An opportunity for young boys to go and experience senior football and to train every day with senior players is important, but the skill is to make sure we pick a loan experience to go and get the right returns.
“So we may put a boy out on loan just for the experience or the life skills, but at some point, we’ve got to put them out for a football development reason as well and make sure we get the right type of games or the right type of development whilst they’re not with us.