Loan market will be ‘important’ for Oldham Athletic, says Sheridan

JOHN Sheridan plans to make better use of the loan market to round out his squad next season.

The Latics head coach says the club have not capitalized enough on loan signings in recent seasons, although this is partly due to restrictions imposed by the transfer embargo last season.

The club was not only limited to free agents and loan signings, but also had a salary limit imposed on all transfers made from the summer.

This left the Latics fishing in a small pond. However, then-head coach Keith Curle was able to secure Jamie Bowden on a season-long loan from Spurs on the eve of the 2021/22 season – with the young midfielder making 25 appearances in all competitions, scoring once, before being recalled in January when Latics was between managers.

Curle also signed Faysal Bettache from Championship side Queens Park Rangers in August.

The Latics did not have a full-time manager when the January transfer window opened, but midfield prospect Alex Hunt came on loan from Sheffield on Wednesday, after signing a contract extension at Hillsborough , at a time when Selim Benachour was interim head coach.

Bettache has made just five Ligue 2 starts in 14 appearances, the last in November, while Hunt has made 13 appearances, including seven starts.

Oldham fared better in the loan market the previous season, with Arsenal’s Harry Clarke, Leeds United’s Alfie McCalmont and Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Ian Lawlor signing one-season loans and the trio all made an impact positive on the first team.

Lawlor’s season was cut short by injury in March 2021 on his 39th appearance, leading Latics to sign Laurie Walker on an ongoing emergency loan from MK Dons, with the stopper returning last August following a an injury to Danny Rogers and a contract dispute which meant Jayson Leutwiler could not be signed up for the start of the campaign.

But, with relegation to the National League expected to mean the lifting of transfer restrictions, the loan market is an area Sheridan is looking to explore further.

“I think the loan market is going to be big,” he said.

“I don’t think the club have used the loan market well enough.

“I think you have to use the loan market, and when I’ve been at Oldham in previous years the players who have been on loan have always done well. So that will be important for us.”

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