Arsenal have provided a couple of updates on their loanees this week, with one extension and another returning to North London.
First, Rochdale AFC posted that Tolaji Bola will return to Arsenal this month. The player was only on loan until January in the first place, but they’ve decided not to extend that loan until the end of the season.
Bola made 12 appearances for Rochdale in all competitions, and he was initially a nailed-on starter for the team. However, he saw his chances diminishing towards the end of the year, only starting one of Rochdale’s last five league games.
As a result, it’s not surprising to see Bola returning to Arsenal. He’ll either now look for another loan or integrate with Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad to try and replace Sead Kolasinac as the club’s backup left-back.
For now, I’d say another loan is much more likely. But it all depends on what Arteta thinks of him.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ballard has gone the other way with his loan, extending it to the end of the season. Arsenal announced the extension through their academy Twitter account.
Again, this was expected. We’d already heard reports that an agreement was close, with Ballard impressing in his limited appearances on the pitch so far.
In his eight appearances, Blackpool have kept four clean sheets and conceded just five goals. However, international call-ups, a red card, an injury in December, and a few Covid postponements have kept him from starting more regularly.
Now he has his spot back, playing the full 90 minutes in the last three games, he’ll hope to keep it until May.