Four Arsenal players made their competitive debuts for their loan clubs on Saturday, with very mixed results on the pitch.

Zech Medley (L) celebrates in the background after a Gillingham goal (Photo via GillinghamFootballClub.com)
Zech Medley (L) celebrates in the background after a Gillingham goal (Photo via GillinghamFootballClub.com)

On the opening day of the season for many EFL clubs this Saturday, there were six potential debuts for Arsenal loan players on the cards.

Unfortunately, Ben Sheaf was ineligible for Coventry City’s win over MK Dons, due to the immediate recency of his signing. Matt Smith also didn’t get onto the pitch as Swindon Town lost 3-1 to Charlton Athletic.

There were four debutants on the day though, and let’s start with the good news.

Zech Medley made the starting lineup for Gillingham against Southend United, with Trae Coyle on the bench for the same team.

Medley was arguably the Man of the Match in a 1-0 win, grinding out the clean sheet despite having 10 men for the final half-hour.

The defender made six clearances, including one off the line. He blocked three shots, made an interception and won all four of his aerial duels. He even had a shot on target.

Coyle came on for the final 22 minutes and did well too. Rather than showing his attacking prowess, he had to dig in to help the side defensively with 10 men. He made four tackles and two interceptions, so you can’t fault his application.

Jordi Osei-Tutu didn’t have such a good time as Cardiff City lost 3-0 to Northampton Town. Despite winning five of seven duels, making two tackles, one interception and winning three free-kicks, he’ll probably remember the day for giving away a penalty.

The Arsenal man tried to shield the ball in the box, but he did so too aggressively in the eyes of the referee.

Finally, Zak Swanson featured in a disastrous 7-1 defeat to SC Cambuur. That’s not to say he was individually to blame at all, you have to point fingers at the entire team’s defensive effort for a result like that. But it’s one to forget immediately.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.