It’s now just a couple of months until the end of the season, so this week I thought I’d have an early look at what Arsenal should do with each of their loanees this summer.
Things could change in the next couple of months, and this is all just my opinion, but let’s have a look at the decisions Arsenal have to make on all their loanees this summer.
I’m going to give a brief assessment of how the season is going for each player, followed by my personal feeling on what should happen to them in the upcoming window.
An excellent individual campaign on the pitch with Saint-Etienne, punctuated by all too many injuries. All the same, the 18-year-old is up to 17 appearances now, and he already looks like he could make an impact at Arsenal next season. Keep.
Another to struggle with injuries this campaign, but Mkhitaryan is in good form right now. He has 10 goal contributions in 20 games with AS Roma. All the same, Arsenal should look to leverage that for a fee, rather than risking him returning to 2018/19 form. Sell.
Elneny is playing regularly with Besiktas, racking up 27 appearances. He isn’t really doing enough to convince Arsenal to make space in their midfield for him though, particularly as he played most of his team’s terrible Europa League campaign. Sell.
Making a promising start with FC Nurnberg since his January loan, but he recently picked up an injury he’s not quite back from.
If he returns and plays well, maybe he can fight for his place next season, if he doesn’t, he needs another loan or a permanent move. For Mavropanos, the next few months are key. Undecided.
Emile Smith Rowe
Smith Rowe is playing well for Huddersfield Town and staying fit, which is just as important. He’s showing his creativity and attacking threat in a physical league, and the Huddersfield fans love him so far.
It’s possible he’ll try another loan, but he also seems ready to have an immediate impact at Arsenal, assuming he doesn’t have an injury setback. Keep.
Iliev is on his second loan of the season, making 21 appearances and keeping 4 clean sheets. His form has been inconsistent, and it’s difficult to justify him taking Emi Martinez’s spot (5 clean sheets from 11 Arsenal matches). At 25, it’s probably time to move on now. Sell.
For the most part, Sheaf is having a positive loan spell. He’s up to 37 appearances, and Doncaster Rovers made the decision to keep him in January, extending his loan.
He divides opinion among the Rovers fans, and though some consider that unfair, it’s hard to see him proving less divisive two divisions up. For his own sake, a permanent transfer would allow him to turn the page and push on. Sell.
John-Jules only lasted a month at Lincoln City before his season was cut short by injury. He scored his first senior goal in that time, but he’ll want more experience to prove himself. Loan (again).
Unfortunately, Olayinka only made one appearance for Northampton Town before an injury keeping him out until now. He was Man of the Match, which is an encouraging start. We’ll see how he does on his return. Undecided.
Olowu is playing well for Cork City so far, despite their struggles as a team. Hopefully, that will get his name out there and he’ll get a higher-profile loan next season. Loan (again).
Osei-Tutu finally looks to be convincing Bochum’s new manager Thomas Reis, though it took a few months. He was appearing regularly under the previous manager before the old boss lost his job.
It looks like he’ll need another season to play more regularly before he can think about pushing on with Arsenal. Loan (again).
Ballard started the season with Swindon Town, but he picked up a knee injury after three appearances and Arsenal recalled him for treatment. He looked good on his recent return to action with the u23s, but more experience would be good for him. Loan (again).
The loan didn’t really work out in terms of game-time, but things are going pretty well now he’s back. There seems little value in another loan if Arteta is going to play Nketiah as often as he is currently. Keep.