If recent reports are to be believed, then former Everton hero Tim Cahill could be set for a return to Goodison Park on a short-term loan come January, while Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has been linked with a temporary move back to hometown club, Middlesbrough. Cahill left Everton for New York Red Bulls in the summer and the 32-year-old is reaching the end of his first MLS campaign and is hoping for a three-month stint in order to maintain match fitness, while Downing is just not wanted at Anfield. As the likes of David Beckham and Landon Donovan have shown in the past, short-term deals can be fruitful, but it is not always the case. Here are just some of the best and worst moves.
David Beckham: Milan – HIT
Much like full sleeve tattoos and skin-tight underwear, David Beckham made it fashionable for players plying their trade in leagues outside of Europe to seek lucrative short-term deals to ensure they stayed match fit with Becks heading for the fashion capital of Milan in 2010. Initially seen as a cynical ploy to boost his chances of playing for England, Beckham quickly won over the doubters and even had his loan extended, as Milan negotiated for his move to become permanent. Despite the club failing to agree a deal with LA Galaxy, he was invited back the following year for a second spell in 2011.
David Beckham's first goal for Milan
Landon Donovan: Everton – HIT
When Everton signed Mr LA Galaxy himself, there were a lot of raised eyebrows surrounding his short-term move. While his team-mate was living it up in Italy, Donovan was trying his hand at life on Merseyside in the 2010 winter. His loan to Bayern a year earlier was a disaster, but this time it would be different for the American. Over the course of the next three months he became a fan favourite, playing thirteen times and being named the club's player of the month for January. His effect on David Moyes' side saw Donovan being brought back for a second stint in January 2012.
David Pizzaro: Man City - MISS
Perhaps one of the more obscure signings of the 2012 January transfer window saw table topping City bring Roma's ageing playmaker David Pizzaro to the Etihad for the remainder of the season. City boss Roberto Mancini spoke of his love for the 32-year-old, whom he managed at Inter and insisted he would be integral to the second half of the season. The Chilean, however, spent most of the time on the bench, and failed to make the 10 league appearances required to be awarded a Premier League winners' medal at the end of the season.
Henrik Larsson: Man United – HIT
Perhaps one of the most effective loan signings in recent memory was Henrik Larsson's 10-week stint at Man United in 2007. With United facing a striker crisis, the Swede, who was 35 at the time, was brought in as cover, but his impact would help shape the remainder of the club's season. Expecting to play a bit-part role, Larsson soon became an important part of Ferguson's side, playing 13 times and scoring three goals, including important strikes against Aston Villa and Lille. United went on to win the Premier League title and Larsson received special dispensation to collect a winners medal.
Henrik Larsson scoring against Aston Villa in the FA Cup
Ricardo Quaresma: Chelsea – MISS
When Ricardo Quaresma was left out of Inter's squad for the knockout stages of the 2008/09 Champions League it prompted suggestions he could be on his way out of the San Siro. His next move, however, was as surprising as it was confusing. After weeks of speculation he joined Chelsea on a short-term loan deal, but failed to make any impact in England and returned to Italy having made just five appearances for the Blues.
Jurgen Klinsmann: Tottenham – HIT
In a move which contributed hugely to Spurs avoiding the drop in 1998, Tottenham brought back former favourite Jurgen Klinsmann midway through the 1997/98 season. With Christian Gross at the helm, Spurs were staring down the barrel of relegation, but the German's goals during the remainder of the season including four in the penultimate game of the season against Wimbledon, ensured Premier League survival and helped to cement his name in Tottenham history.
George Weah: Chelsea – MISS
Chelsea fans were licking their lips when they managed to land former World and three-time African Player of the Year George Weah on loan in January 2000. Despite being 34-years-old it was hoped he would get the Blues firing again, and he looked to be doing that after grabbing the winner on his club debut against Tottenham. It all went sour shortly after, and despite scoring further goals in the league and FA Cup, the club opted against extending his stay.
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