AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley has claimed there is a world of difference between the loan system between clubs in the Premier League, and between those at the bottom of the Football League pyramid.

The Dons have used nine loan players this season, with Charlie Wyke, Kevin Feely, Kaid Mohamed, Michael Smith and George Porter all returning to their parent clubs at various stages of the season.

Kwesi Appiah, Tom Richards, Michael Collins and Danny Hylton remain at the club as the League Two season draws to a close.

But far from considering the plethora of temporary signings as detrimental to the Dons stability or long-term future, Ardley considers them vital to keep the side, and the resident players, on song.

“We’re trying to build the best team we can with the budget we have.

“I could buy a player on £1,000 a week from a lower level club and he might turn out to be standard, or I can get a loan player from a higher level club on £500 a week, and he proves much better. Of course we’ll go with the latter.”

He added: “When players are loaned out between clubs in the Premier League, it is rare they have to prove themselves.

“But at our level, there are players loaned to us from clubs in the Championship who need competitive football to develop their skills, or players coming up a level looking to make that breakthrough.

“They come to us hungry to show what they can do, they have that competitive edge that makes the guys on contracts sit up and take notice.

“So it not only helps the team as a whole, it also helps individuals.

“We’re happy to help them with their development and get something from them at the same time.”