Every so often a leading Premier League or major European outfit will, in a fit of generosity, offer one of its young prodigies to a lesser club in order to aid the development of their precocious star and equip him with the necessary experience to succeed.

Common sight | Pictured after scoring one of his 13 goals for West Bromwich Albion, Romelu Lukaku has been a revelation at the Hawthorns. (Image | Sporting Life)

Common sight | Pictured after scoring one of his 13 goals for West Bromwich Albion, Romelu Lukaku has been a revelation at the Hawthorns. (Image | Sporting Life)

Many of those loaned out to smaller teams, whether in the top flight or the Football League, perform well and improve as footballers, but every so often, Premier League giants and other European clubs let a genuine star go, for a while.

Given the undoubted success of Romelu Lukaku, who has been plying his trade at West Bromwich Albion this season with the permission of parent club Chelsea, we thought it was time to take a look at some other generous loan deals.

Here at The Armchair Pundits we are always after suggestions so to let us know of any “Luka-coup”, as it were, that we may have missed by contacting us on Facebook or Twitter using the details at the bottom of this article.

1) Romelu Lukaku | Chelsea to West Bromwich Albion

Rising star | There can be no doubt that Lukaku, pictured for Chelsea against Swansea City, has the attributes to develop into a superb footballer. (Image | Give Me Football)

Rising star | There can be no doubt that Lukaku, pictured for Chelsea against Swansea City, has the attributes to develop into a superb footballer. (Image | Give Me Football)

After being snapped up by the Blues aged 18 for a fee that could eventually rise to around £18million, Lukaku will unquestionably lead the Chelsea forward line in the near future.

For now, however, former assistant manager at Stamford Bridge Steve Clarke has taken the Belgian under his wing with the Baggies.

Playing in the sort of stable environment that simply does not exist in SW6, Lukaku has already netted 13 times and is an essential component of one of the greatest seasons in the history of West Brom.

It is vital with supremely-talented youngsters that they are not allowed to drift, lose focus or get caught up in the celebrity lifestyle that comes with being a Premier League footballer.

Lukaku has not done any of this and, thanks to his year in the West Midlands, will return to Chelsea a more complete, experienced and ultimately useful member of the squad, and a man for whom the sky truly is the limit.

2) Jack Wilshere | Arsenal to Bolton Wanderers

Wanderer returned | Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, tipped as England's next "big thing", enjoyed a successful loan spell with Bolton Wanderers. (Image | Zimbio)

Wanderer returned | Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, tipped as England’s next “big thing”, enjoyed a successful loan spell with Bolton Wanderers. (Image | Zimbio)

Said by many to resemble a young Paul Gascoigne, naturally only in a footballing sense, Arsenal starlet Jack Wilshere has also benefited, like Jack Kerouac, from some time on the road.

The 14 appearances he made for Bolton Wanderers on loan for half of the 2010 campaign led the club to try, unsuccessfully, to recruit him for the following season.

Although fortunate to be playing under arguably the most ideal boss for players such as him in Arsène Wenger, Wilshere’s time at the Reebok Stadium meant he learned how the “other half live”.

Experience of disappointment and finishing second best will stand him in excellent stead for the next failure at a major tournament by England, in which he will almost certainly feature.

3) Henrik Larsson | Helsingborgs IF to Manchester United

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Get in my ‘sson | Signing Celtic and Barcelona goal machine Henrik Larsson was perhaps one of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s most audacious moves as Manchester United manager. (Image | Daily Mail)

It is almost impossible to forget the moment that Sir Alex Ferguson attracted legendary goalscoring phenomenon Henrik Larsson to Old Trafford.

Despite managing to find the net only three times in 13 games, Larsson’s mere presence was a major boost for United in the notoriously tricky post-Christmas period.

Indeed, he was such a roaring success that Fergie attempted to convince the Swede to stay in Manchester a little longer.

However, always a man of principle, Larsson called it a day in 2009 having scored 325 times in 573 club league matches, a phenomenal record by any measure.

4) Gylfi Sigurdsson | TSG 1899 Hoffenheim to Swansea City

Voted player of the season three years in a row for two different clubs, the decision to boost the survival hopes of newly-promoted Swansea City by sending Gylfi Sigurdsson back to England was truly bizarre.

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Gylf in class | Despite being named Hoffenheim player of the season, Gylfi Sigurdsson was allowed to return to England and have a fruitful period at Swansea City. (Image | Mirror Football)

Nonetheless, German giants Hoffenheim generously allowed Sigurdsson to pick up where he had left off at Reading.

His time at the Liberty Stadium saw the Iceland international score seven goals in just 19 appearances and become an indispensable part of a much-praised midfield unit.

Desperate to keep their lynchpin, the Swans agreed a fee of £6.8million with Hoffenheim to take Sigurdsson to South Wales on a permanent basis, but the deal collapsed and Tottenham Hotspur swooped in to scoop up the talented 23-year-old.

5) Kyle Walker | Tottenham Hotspur to Queens Park Rangers

When Kyle Walker arrived at Queens Park Rangers on a six-month loan deal to cover injuries at right back, it was not immediately obvious that the Rs had picked up a magnificent young player.

Over the next few weeks and months, Walker oozed class and was clearly a cut above the best the Championship had to offer.

Loan Ranger | Immediately a hit with Queens Park Rangers fans, Kyle Walker, pictured, will be England's first-choice right back for a decade. (Image | talkSPORT)

Loan Ranger | Immediately a hit with Queens Park Rangers fans, Kyle Walker, pictured, will be England’s first-choice right back for a decade. (Image | talkSPORT)

His confidence on the ball, superb defensive nous and ability and willingness to get forward enchanted Rangers boss Neil Warnock, but after his deal ended the 22-year-old headed out on loan again.

This time it was Aston Villa that he bestowed his services upon, and having played in 20 games for league winners QPR, Walker even picked up a title medal aged just 20.

6) Craig Bellamy | Manchester City to Cardiff City

Despite a successful year with Manchester City, winger Craig Bellamy told how he feared being left out of the Citizens’ 25-man Premier League squad.

In doing so, he also issued a “come and get me” plea to Cardiff City at the start of the 2010-11 campaign.

Local hero | Craig Bellamy, now a fully-fledged Cardiff City player, did his utmost to engineer a loan move in 2010. (Image | The Telegraph)

Local hero | Craig Bellamy, now a fully-fledged Cardiff City player, did his utmost to engineer a loan move in 2010. (Image | The Telegraph)

Bellamy got his wish, and spent a season with the Welsh giants, who managed once again to fall at the final hurdle chasing promotion to the top flight.

Although a brief spell at Liverpool got in the way of the returning hero narrative, the 33-year-old was able to sign a two-year deal with the Bluebirds last year, and has already made 50 appearances.

Did we miss anyone? Send in your suggestions using the contact details below.

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