A player-by-player round-up of how our loanees got on during 2012/13.
Jeremy Helan – Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday
After a month-long loan to Shrewsbury last November, for whom he made 4 appearances, Jeremy Helan joined Sheffield Wednesday where he was an almost instant hit. Making his debut on 24 November, the French utility man scored his first goal on 22 December in a 2-0 win over Charlton.
Rejoining the Owls for a second loan spell at the end of January, Helan has made 17 appearances since and helped his club stave off the threat of relegation, confirming survival on the final day of the season.
Manager Dave Jones fought hard to ensure that Helan returned to Hillsborough after Christmas, and was rewarded with three crucial assists and some influential performances from the City youngster.
Emyr Huws – Northampton Town
Welsh midfielder Emyr Huws chalked up 13 appearances for Northampton Town in all s while on a two-month loan spell with Aidy Boothroyd’s side. The youngster gave a good account of himself in the centre of the park – he completed 90 minutes in all but one of his games for the Cobblers and chalked up three assists.
Boothroyd said after the 19-year-old was awarded man of the match on his debut against Exeter: "What he does is he puts his foot on the ball and he keeps it and you can give him it in tight areas and he'll not lose it and his distribution is excellent.
"He's got the feet to go past people and provide crosses so I'm really pleased with his debut.
"I've watched him a number of times and he's going to be a top, top player.”
Eirik Holmen Johansen – Scunthorpe United
Loaned to Scunthorpe at the end of February as cover for injured keeper Sam Slocombe, Eirik made eight appearances for the Iron as they battled against relegation from League One. Although the young Norwegian was on the winning side just once, his manager and teammates had plenty of praise for the keeper’s performances.
His manager, Brian Laws, was “delighted” with his debut and explained he made some “match-winning saves” to preserve three points against Leyton Orient.
Scunthorpe winger Mark Duffy said: "From what I've seen of the keeper, he's unbelievable. Some of the saves he makes in training are just outrageous.”
Alex Henshall – Chesterfield
Joining Chesterfield at the end of February, Alex Henshall turned out seven times for the League Two side, coming on from the bench on six occasions. He recorded one assist and will hope to have benefitted from his Football League experience as he aims to take the next step at City.
Adam Drury – Burton Albion
Moving to Burton Albion on loan in January, Adam Drury went straight into the starting line-up at the Pirelli Stadium for an FA Cup tie against Leicester City. In total, he turned out 14 times for his loan side, including a subs appearance in the League Two play-offs after Burton chose to extend his initial deal.
Mohammed Abu – Rayo Vallecano, Lorient
After winning a starting berth for La Liga side Rayo Vallecano on just three occasions, Mohammed Abu swapped Spain for France’s Ligue 1 at the start of February, and has since appeared eight times for Lorient.
After a recent injury spell, Abu returned to the starting line-up and was awarded Man of the Match.
Karim Rekik – Blackburn Rovers
Karim Rekik moved to Blackburn Rovers on loan in February, a move which reunited him with his former boss Michael Appleton, for whom he played at Portsmouth last year. It was a turbulent time at Ewood Park and the defender became embroiled in a relegation battle under caretaker boss Gary Bowyer.
Karim didn’t profit from events at Blackburn, making just five appearances and sitting on the bench as an unused sub a further eight times.
He remains very much a part of his country’s youth setup, recently captaining the side and scoring a goal in a Netherlands U19 friendly against the Czech Republic.
Omar Elabdellaoui – Feyenoord, Eintracht Braunschweig
After finding his opportunities limited at Feyenoord where he spent the first half of the season, Omar Elabdellaoui found his feet at 2.Bundesliga side Eintracht Braunschweig, where he played 13 times and helped his team seal promotion to Germany’s top division.
Playing on the right wing, the Norwegian started on 12 of those occasions, and recorded four assists.
Reece Wabara – Oldham Athletic, Blackpool
Fans of Oldham Athletic aren’t likely to forget Reece Wabara in a hurry after he scored the winning goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup to give the Latics an improbable victory in his last game for the club.
It proved the final act of an extremely productive loan spell for the 21-year–old who started 29 games for the club, scoring two goals in total and getting two assists – not bad for a defender!
A second loan agreement with Blackpool proved less fruitful however, and Reece opted to return to City early after making a solitary appearance for the Seasiders.
Alex Nimely –Crystal Palace
A promising loan spell for striker Alex Nimely with Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace was sadly interrupted by injury. He made appearances in two games immediately after joining the Eagles in January but then his involvement was curtailed by a hamstring problem. He made a further two appearances for Palace’s U21 side, getting an assist, but did not feature again for the first team before returning to City.
Holloway had high hopes for the signing, saying: "I've admired him for a couple of years. I like his movement, skill and his tenacity.”
Abdi Ibrahim - Stromsgodset
With Norway’s Eliteserien running through the English summer, Abdi Ibrahim’s season with Stromsgodset is in its early stages. The midfielder has so far made eight competitive appearances for his loan club, with whom he also enjoyed success last season. The Norwegian’s loan deal currently runs to the end of June.
Ryan McGivern - Hibernian
With 25 league appearances to his name, it has been a productive loan spell for Ryan McGivern at Hibernian this season. He has established himself as the Edinburgh outfit’s first choice left back, and even grabbed a goal to earn a vital draw for his side against Kilmarnock.
Ryan’s season hasn’t ended yet – he will be desperate to feature in the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic at the end of the month, having set up one of the goals in the semi-final.
He’s also been involved in the senior Northern Ireland setup while on loan – playing the full 90 minutes in a friendly against Finland.