The intensity issue is the key.
Being thrown on for cameo sub appearances, with an “express yourself remit” etc isn’t the same pressure as having responsibility for starting games where mistakes even early on in a game may cost you.
He’s been starting more games recently so that’s good.
And I’ve no problem with players looking out for themselves but lots of people do. He’s just got an easy ride because most people don’t like Allardyce otherwise I think he would have been panned for going against club wishes.
I've said similar before, but even if he has gone against the club's wishes, it doesn't mean that the club's decision was right for his development.
I think there's very much a progressive argument to make that sending young players abroad - and exposing them to other cultures/styles of play - is the right thing to do here. For attacking players at least, anyway.
There probably was a 'feathering his own nest' side to it as you suggest, but on our side of it, his decision's probably vindicated in that he's actually been starting some games and coming off the bench.
When you've got people like Royle/Dobson, Walsh and Allardyce making decisions on loans, you're probably only ever going to get them going to British clubs because that's what they're used to. This might make sense if you don't think they're ever going to make it at Premier League level, give them experience of the rough and tumble of the lower leagues. If they're likely to be top level players though, I'm not sure it does.