With Millwall’s exit from the League Cup to Leicester City on Wednesday, Arsenal lost their last loan participant in the competition.
As usual, Arsenal have a fair few loanees out at lower-league English clubs this season.
Daniel Ballard (Millwall), Jonathan Dinzeyi (Carlisle United), Jordi Osei-Tutu (Nottingham Forest), Matthew Smith (Doncaster Rovers), Miguel Azeez (Portsmouth), and Tyreece John-Jules (Blackpool) are all spending a season with a team in the lower divisions.
The cup competitions are always a nice way to get a look at those lower-league loanees against tougher opponents, but none of the group got too far in the League Cup this year.
John-Jules provided a couple of assists in Blackpool’s 3-2 defeat to Sunderland, Osei-Tutu missed Nottingham Forest’s exit through injury, Smith featured in Doncaster Rovers’ 2-0 elimination to Stoke City, all of which was in the second round.
Meanwhile, Dinzeyi and Azeez didn’t join their loan clubs until they were already out.
That only left Ballard, who had helped Millwall through to the third round in 3-1 a win over Cambridge United. But unfortunately, Millwall rotated heavily against Leicester City and the Arsenal man didn’t get a chance to start.
Instead, Ballard came off the bench for the final 25 minutes. His team were already behind at that stage and ended up losing 2-0.
It’s a shame, given the defender’s good performances in the Championship. This would’ve been an interesting test if Millwall had taken it seriously. But the league games are often the priority in the Championship, as in the Premier League.
The Arsenal loanees will hope for more opportunities against the big teams in the FA Cup.