Julio Pleguezuelo completed his loan spell with Gimnastic de Tarragona on Saturday, but it doesn’t look likely he’ll return to play for the Arsenal first team.

That’s according to Arsenal youth expert Jeorge Bird, who writes that the Spaniard “could be released this summer” and that a departure “seems likely”. According to transfermarkt, the 21-year-old’s contract with Arsenal expires this month, and the signs suggest he’s not going to renew it.

The problem is that Arsenal already have so much competition at u23 level in the centre-back position. Calum Chambers and Rob Holding are still not yet 24 years old, and they’re established members of the first-team squad. Konstantinos Mavropanos is even younger than Pleguezuelo, as are fellow 2017/18 loanees Ben Sheaf and Krystian Bielik.

The Spaniard performed well for the u23s during the first half of the season, captaining the young side during their title charge, but unfortunately injury interrupted his subsequent loan spell.

He did help Gimnastic to avoid relegation, and his senior level experience will count in his favour in talks with new manager Unai Emery. However, if he wants to play regularly he’d be better off doing it somewhere else.

It’s a shame, but defence continues to prove the most difficult area of the pitch to break into the senior side.