Omar Rekik’s proposed loan move to Stoke City fell through on deadline day, but he’ll now at least be available for Arsenal as cover.

Omar Rekik with Arsenal in training (Photo via Rekik on Instagram)
Omar Rekik with Arsenal in training (Photo via Rekik on Instagram)

Shortly after returning from AFCON with Tunisia, Omar Rekik came close to completing a deadline-day loan move to Stoke City.

At one point, Chris Wheatley reported the deal was heading towards completion, but he later confirmed it had fallen through. Wheatley added that there remains plenty of interest in the centre-back this summer.

Whilst it’s disappointing for Rekik not to get his first experience of senior club football, it does mean Arsenal have a little more security in their centre-back options.

With all the January departures, Arsenal only have Ben White, Gabriel, and Rob Holding as first-team centre-backs.

Takehiro Tomiyasu can fill in if required, but given Mikel Arteta only has two first-team right-backs, he’ll hope it won’t come to that.

If Arsenal need to turn to the academy in case of injuries or illness, Rekik is undoubtedly the standout option. He’s certainly the most impressive on the ball, which seems to be important in the current side.

Rekik’s recent breakthrough into the Tunisia national team squad is evidence of how highly he’s regarded despite his age. There’s good reason his first loan was set to be in the Championship, rather than dropping down to League One or Two.

Omar Rekik signing for Arsenal (Photo via
Omar Rekik signing for Arsenal (Photo via

For the time being, Rekik will likely return to the u23s, who are still fighting on two fronts – the Premier League 2 and the Premier League Cup.

There should be plenty of games for him, before what seems like an inevitable summer loan.