If one of the hallmarks of West Bromwich Albion's season is how the club has manipulated the use of loan signings to their considerable success, it is perhaps fitting that,on the day the emergency loan market closed its doors, that one last piece of significant business was completed.
Roman Bednar, Luke Moore, Curtis Davies and Ishmael Miller are among several players to have contributed to Albion's cause or bank balance because of short-term deals at some point this season.
Tony Mowbray, the manager, is hopeful that the return to The Hawthorns of the club's longest-serving player will help provide his side with the final impetus needed for Coca-Cola Championship and FA Cup success.
A mentally and physically rehabilitated Neil Clement has had his 93-day loan deal cut short by the Baggies after a month, having helped Hull City to leapfrog his paymasters into third place in the division.
The 29-year-old defender's input has clearly benefited Phil Brown's side in the short term, but it might be that Albion reap the longer-term rewards, given that the former Chelsea player has fully recovered from a long-term injury and has repaired his shattered confidence during his time on Humberside at the KC Stadium.
Mowbray said: "The terms of the deal [with Hull] stated that we could bring him back at any time we wanted. Why should we leave our players at Hull when they are having a decent run?
"I am sure that Phil Brown would have seen it the same way. Neil has clearly done all right there, given the results they have had recently and I have spoken to him about the move at length.
"He knew the reasons why we let him go. He had come off a bad injury and he needed to play football and get himself confident again and believing that, mentally, his future was bright.
"That is the player who is coming back to us now. He wants to play for West Bromwich Albion and believes he is more than good enough to get in our first team. That is great for me."
Perhaps, more importantly, Mowbray shares Clement's view that he is good enough to be in contention for some crucial Albion matches; the manager confirmed that he could play a part in the first-team squad before the end of the season.
He added: "It [Hull's run] was not the only scenario we looked at. My first thought is always for the player and he has proven his fitness in the month that he has been there and done exceptionally well.
"I think it is only right that we should have him available and I am sure he can play a part for us. The positive thing now is that we are getting a mentally-positive player coming back to us, rather than trying to play him through the injury ourselves and at a time when we were trying to win every game we play.
"At times, he would have been in and out of the team as well, so he would also have been trying to deal with that mental torture but he has gone to Hull, done exceptionally well, and he is coming back here telling me that he can feature for us. I am delighted with that."
The bonus of Clement's comeback was not the only reason why Mowbray was yesterday in an evidently jovial mood many injured members of his squad have made unexpectedly quick recoveries to fitness.
He added: "Leon Barmett is out there and running and sprinting, so he will be back in full training on Monday. Both he and Chris Brunt had hamstring injuries and they have been out for ten days, which is great.
"Chris is back in full training, as is James Morrison and Sherjill MacDonald is not far away. He has been out there kicking balls, which I find amazing, seeing as he had some cartilage removed five days ago."
Meanwhile, Bartosz Slusarski yesterday joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan until the end of the season.
Despite an impressive goalscoring record in Albion's reserves, the Polish international striker has found his first-team opportunities limited at The Hawthorns because of the impressive form of Kevin Phillips, Miller and Bednar who have scored 52 goals among them this season.
* Southampton have eased their defensive injury crisis by signing veteran centre-half Chris Perry from Luton on loan until the end of the season.