Date: 27th July 2006 at 3:02pm
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It appears that a loan fest has begun down at Ashburton Grove.

If reports are to be believed, Mart Poom, Arturo Lupoli, Fabrice Muamba & Sebastian Larsson are all being pre-pared to go out on a season long loan.

Derby County, who look to be on the verge of signing winger Ryan Smith on a permanent deal, are seeking to take Arturo Lupoli & Mart Poom on temporary deals.

Manager Billy Davies said, ‘Lupoli is a goalscorer by nature and a player with great pace, but we have asked about several players at different Premiership clubs,’

‘We inquired a little while ago (about Poom) but sometimes an inquiry is just a phone call to check out the player’s situation.’

The loans of Fabrice Muamba & Seb Larsson however seem to be in a much more advanced stage, if not already complete.

Blues manager, Steve Bruce is delighted at the prospect.

‘Fabrice is very highly regarded. He is a bit of a Patrick Vieira kind, he is strong, can win the ball and get up and down,’ said Bruce.’

‘Sebastian played left-back against us at St Andrew’s last season. He’s versatile. He can play on the right, in the middle, he can play right or left-back. He’s a naturally gifted footballer.

‘The two lads we knew a bit about already. Every club keeps and eye on the youngsters at a place like Arsenal, and we are no different.

‘We all know they want to let them out on loan to learn. The two of them we had identified if they ever did become available – and they have.

‘They are coming in to bolster the squad and to gain experience, they will want to come and play here and make their mark and I’m sure they will.

‘Arsene Wenger certainly thinks they are at an age when they can hold their own physically and they need more than reserve team football.’

The players going on loan can only benefit from the experience of playing week in week out in the lower leagues as it would be very unlikey that any young fringe players would get much first team action in the coming months.