On Tuesday we experienced a momentous occasion, although it will have flown under the radar for most football fans.
The emergency loan window opened for the last time ever, with FIFA finally bringing it to an end in the summer.
Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Rotherham are all likely to make moves in the window to ensure their Championship status between now and the end of the campaign.
Here are some of the best young players they should target:
A highly rated young winger who has represented England at every age group up to Under-20, Barker spent a period of the season on loan with Rotherham United. He impressed on his debut, scoring a stunning goal from long-range in a 5-2 loss against Ipswich Town. Barker went on to make four appearances before returning to Manchester City. The 19-year-old could offer technical quality and an ability to break teams down to a team in the Championship, but any club signing him would have to be aware that he is far from the finished product. Attracted attention from Leeds in the summer.
The Leicester City left-back spent the first half of the campaign with Huddersfield Town and left to rave reviews. There was a belief that he would be integrated into the Foxes first-team over the second half of the season, but it’s fair to say Leicester are having a slightly better campaign than expected. It would be a risk for Claudio Ranieri to destabilize his team. Reports suggested Chilwell could head out on loan again, and with a recall clause in any deal it would make sense for his parent club too.
A Manchester United academy graduate, Keane has never exactly made the grade at Old Trafford. The striker has had four loan spells, including time at both Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End over 2015. Keane was recalled from Preston on December 31 amid an injury crisis at Old Trafford, but has not played for Louis van Gaal’s side. He is, however, highly regarded and at 23-years-old, he needs to leave Man Utd to establish himself. Hull City are thought to be keen on signing him for free at the end of the season when his contract expires - giving him time to settle over a loan spell would be a good decision.
Rossiter is considered to be one of the top players to come out of Liverpool’s academy in recent years. He is a talented, ball-playing midfielder who is able to get up and down the pitch and win tackles. Sound familiar? Both Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson have suggested that Rossiter could be the ‘next Steven Gerrard’. That might be a burden at only 18-years-old, but Rossiter has already played in the Premier League and Europe for the Reds. An injury has hampered his season, but with a return on the cards for the end of February, this could be as good a time as any for a Championship side to try and sign him on a temporary basis.
Sinclair is the youngest ever player to feature for Liverpool, having made his debut for the club at the age of 16 years and six days. He has not pushed on from then, although he is starting to make appearances more frequently under Jurgen Klopp. Scored his first goal for the Anfield club on January 8 against Exeter City. However, Sinclair is reportedly set to move to Granada at the end of the season on a free transfer. Considering that is one of the clubs owned by the Pozzo family, who have a famed scouting network, this suggests he might be a player of some note. For a Championship side, it might be worth seeing whether he is available.