Jordi Osei-Tutu became the first Arsenal loanee to return to competitive match action on Saturday, starting and scoring for VfL Bochum against Heidenheim.
With the 2. Bundesliga starting up again this weekend, Arsenal loanee Jordi Osei-Tutu was one of two to finally find himself with a match to prepare for. Whilst Konstantinos Mavropanos is ready to play on Sunday, Osei-Tutu started in the early Saturday kick-off.
The first thing to note was that 21-year-old remained at right-wing, rather than right-back. Though he joined Bochum as a full-back, he played as a winger earlier in his career, and the German club clearly think they have more use for him there.
The Arsenal academy graduate showed some positive early touches and runs, holding onto the ball well and finding his teammates. He also attempted a cross or two without much success before Bochum took an early lead.
Osei-Tutu wasn’t always involved in the game, due to the nature of his role. He mainly picked up the ball in the final third during counter-attacks and took risks. One of those risks paid off before long, as the Arsenal loanee doubled his team’s lead.
A Heidenheim defender stretched to block a cross and the ball fell to Osei-Tutu, who shifted it onto his right foot before curling into the corner of the net between a defender’s legs.
It was the ideal return to action in the first half, even if he did have to receive medical attention at one point after an aerial collision. 90% pass accuracy, two interceptions, one clearance, one tackle, one chance created, a goal and a 2-0 lead.
Osei-Tutu started the second half in much the same way, sitting further up-field for counter-attacks. Interestingly he swapped to the left-wing a few times throughout the match, clearly as a deliberate tactic to keep the defenders guessing.
Heidenheim got more physical with him, getting away with a couple of heavy challenges whilst also giving away a free-kick or two. As Bochum grew even more comfortable with a third goal and sat back, Osei-Tutu’s chances to make an offensive impact dried up.
Eventually, Bochum coach Thomas Reis took the Arsenal man off with 10 minutes to go and his team 3-0 up. Job done.
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) May 16, 2020
For Osei-Tutu, Bochum play next in just over a week. They face Karlsruher SC away from home on Sunday 24th May. Osei-Tutu will hope his goal and performance gets him another chance to start.
For Arsenal, we’ll keep an eye on Mavropanos as Nurnberg face St. Pauli on Sunday. Details available here.