Six stars that have enjoyed great loan spells: Lingard, Lukaku, Tevez...

Whether it was to gather experience at a young age or to rediscover their form, these loan stars all enjoyed success during their temporary moves.

A means of providing a player crucial game-time, loans are increasingly becoming part of the modern game, with Europe's powerhouses often looking to test their academy talents before promoting them to the first team - or ditching them altogether.

It's a tactic often employed by Chelsea - just ask Michy Batshuayi, who completed his 1,000th loan spell this window, this time signing for Turkish side Besiktas.

But jokes aside, it's a policy that has benefited Chelsea, allowing them to follow a player's progress away from the rigours of the Premier League and then judge whether they are capable of making the step up.

However, the pressure of a short-term stint in unfamiliar surrounds means only a lucky few are able to shine away from their parent club.

In celebration of the stars that took their opportunity with both hands, Planet Sport takes a look at six of the best loan spells.

Jesse Lingard

After falling down the pecking order at Manchester UnitedJesse Lingard seemed disheartened and unwanted in the Old Trafford dressing room.

Falling behind Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood in the pecking order, Lingard took matters into his own hands and opted for a loan to West Ham in order to try and revitalise his career.

He signed for the Hammers in January 2021, leaving him with barely half a season to impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and claim his starting spot back.

On his West Ham debut against Aston Villa, Lingard hit the ground running with a brace in a 3-1 victory.

West Ham's form continued to improve and Lingard continued to find the net, scoring against Tottenham HotspurLeeds United and Arsenal in the following weeks.

In April, during a game against Wolves, Lingard picked the ball up in his own half and dribbled 52 yards before slotting calmly past Rui Patricio. His goal was the furthest a player had travelled before scoring that season and was rewarded with Goal of the Month.

A further three goals came in games against Leicester City and Newcastle United to take his season's tally to nine in just 16 appearances, earning him an England recall in the process.

Following the end of his spell, rumours of a permanent transfer began to swirl, but United's £30million asking price seemingly fended off any interest, leaving Lingard part of Solskjaer's squad heading into 2021/22.

However, with Cristiano Ronaldo having made a sensational return to Old Trafford, Lingard's future is up in the air once more.

Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea's new £100million man was once in the same shoes as Batshuayi and forced to prove his mettle out on loan.

His first stint was at West Brom. After completing the move on August 10, 2012, Lukaku took just eight days to open his account, coming off the bench to net in a 3-0 win over Liverpool.

The Baggies and Lukaku went on to enjoy a hugely successful season in the top flight, eventually finishing eighth with Lukaku bagging an impressive 17 goals.

The 20-year-old striker also stood out on the final day of the season, when his perfect hat-trick in a 5-5 draw against Manchester United soured Sir Alex Ferguson's final match in charge of the Red Devils.

Despite outscoring all Chelsea players in 2012/13, Lukaku still found himself down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, causing him to go on loan again in 2013/14, to Everton.

The Belgian enjoyed another successful loan spell, scoring 15 goals before making Goodison Park his permanent home in 2014 for a club-record £28million.

Raul Jiminez

After Wolves' promotion to the Premier League in 2017/18, Portuguese boss Nuno Espirito Santo was on the lookout for a striker to bolster his side's firepower as they prepared for their first season back in the top flight.

For just £2million, Wolves managed to secure a season-long loan for Benfica's Raul Jiminez, who was limited to a bit part in the Portuguese team.

The Mexican forward wasted no time in settling into the side, and marked his competitive debut with an equalising goal against Everton in their 2-2 opening day draw.

Wolves enjoyed a far more successful season than most anticipated, and Jiminez continued to go from strength to strength during his time at the Molineux.

As Wolves continued to pick up positive results, Jiminez quickly became a fan favourite, with his 13 goals going a long way to earning him that tag.

Unsurprisingly, Wolves decided to exercise their £30million option to make Jiminez' move permanent - a club record at the time.

Jiminez starred again as Wolves replicated their seventh-placed position. However, in the 2020/21 season, he suffered a fractured skull in their fixture against Arsenal, ending his season.

Thankfully, after successful surgery and rehabilitation, Jiminez has returned to the Wolves side, now under the tutelage of Bruno Lage.

Duvan Zapata

After joining Napoli in 2013, Zapata was sent out on a number of loan spells, including stints at Udinese and Sampdoria. However, despite performing relatively well, he continued to struggle for a place in the starting line-up at his parent club.

However, in July 2018, Zapata made the switch to Atalanta on a two-year loan deal, which included a buy option for the Italian side.

Zapata shone at Atalanta throughout the Christmas period, scoring twice against Juventus in a 2-2 Boxing Day draw, before scoring four against Frosinone in a 5-0 win in January.

The goals raised his season's tally to 14, making him the joint-top scorer in Serie A alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Quagliarella.

The Colombian forward ended the season with 23 goals, helping his side to a Coppa Italia final as well as a third-placed finish in Serie A.

After carrying over his superb form into the 2019/20 season, Atalanta exercised the buy option to make his move permanent.

Rumours persist, however, that Inter Milan are looking towards the Colombian as a replacement for Lukaku.

Thibaut Courtois

The Belgian shot-stopper currently plies his trade for Real Madrid, but he first spent his time on the other half of the Spanish capital with Atletico.

After starting his career at Genk, Chelsea swooped in to acquire his services for £7.5million in 2011. However, Courtois wasn't immediately in the plans of then-manager Andre Villas-Boas, and he was loaned out to Atletico Madrid just weeks after his signing.

Courtois instantly impressed during his stint, and with four clean sheets in his opening six appearances, he staked his claim as the first-team goalkeeper ahead of Sergio Asenjo.

In his first season in Madrid, Courtois kept 16 clean sheets in 37 appearances, as Atletico finished fifth in Serie A.

Despite impressing out on loan, Courtois' loan spell was extended for a further 12 months. He continued to shine under Diego Simeone, and recorded a further 20 clean sheets in 37 matches, earning him the La Liga Goalkeeper of the Season award.

Again, though, Courtois' loan was extended for the 2013/14 season and he matched his 20 domestic clean sheets as Atletico went on to win La Liga ahead of Barcelona.

Finally, Chelsea decided it was the right time to recall Courtois from his three-year loan spell and integrate him as their No. 1. He spent a further four years at Stamford Bridge before making a £31million switch to Los Blancos.

Carlos Tevez

Tevez' move to West Ham was clouded in controversy, as the Hammers were fined £5.5million for breaching Premier League rules.

However, eventually cleared to play, Tevez crucially went on to score the winning goal for relegation-threatened Hammers as they beat Manchester United 1-0. It was a result that sent Sheffield United down at West Ham's expense.

Clearly impressed by what he saw, Sir Alex Ferguson put forward a two-year loan deal for the Argentine striker, and more controversy followed with West Ham claiming they would block the deal before the whole ordeal headed to court.

Eventually, the Red Devils confirmed that they had in fact secured Tevez' signature for a two-year loan spell.

Tevez quickly showed why he was so sought after, scoring in a 2-0 win over Chelsea in September, before Ferguson came out in November to say he wanted to sign Tevez permanently.

United's new forward contributed not just domestically, but also added five goals during their successful 2007/08 Champions League campaign.

He created an incredible striking partnership alongside Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, firing United to yet another Premier League title.

Originally planning to sign Tevez permanently, Ferguson recalls that the Argentinian told him that he planned to retire in 2011, and so opted out of the deal.

After scoring 19 goals across two seasons, Tevez' time in Manchester was up, or so United thought, until his surprise move to cross-town rivals Manchester City in 2009.

READ MORE: Where next for Robert Lewandowski - Man City, Liverpool, Real Madrid or staying at Bayern Munich?

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