Dejan Iliev ended his loan spell at Jagiellonia in rather underwhelming fashion on Sunday, failing to make their squad for the final game.

Dejan Iliev playing for Jagiellonia (Photo by Michal Stanczyk via Iliev's Instagram)
Dejan Iliev playing for Jagiellonia (Photo by Michal Stanczyk via Iliev’s Instagram)

As you may or may not be aware, Dejan Iliev started the season on loan with SKF Sered, before moving on loan to Jagiellonia Bialystok in January.

The goalkeeper made four appearances for his new side, keeping a couple of clean sheets, which is certainly a decent start. But then he picked up an injury and missed the next month or so of action.

As he edged closer to a return to the pitch, his loan contract was coming to an end. After all, he only signed on until June 30th, unaware of the coming problems caused by COVID-19.

Rather than returning Iliev to Arsenal, Jagiellonia decided to extend his deal to the end of the season. Rather bizarrely, though, they didn’t include the goalkeeper in a single matchday squad for the rest of the season.

At first, this was obviously because of the injury. However, the goalkeeper returned to full training over a week ago now, three matches before the end of the season.

Perhaps Jagiellonia didn’t want to take any risks on his fitness. Maybe they just didn’t think it was a good idea to drop their other goalkeepers for a player who was close to leaving at the end of his loan. Whatever the case may be, Iliev will return to Arsenal now.

The 25-year-old reportedly has a contract with the Gunners until 2022, so he’ll need to consider his future. He may see a spot in the squad as Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper. But chances will be scarce with the way Bernd Leno and Emi Martinez are performing.

Another loan may help to get his name out on the market, but neither of his loans this season did a great job of that. It’s one to puzzle over for Iliev and Arsenal.

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