With all the talk of Mr Wenger having all the money he wants to buy, buy, and buy again the usual round-up of the loanees seems to have passed by the wayside – perhaps because several of them (Bendtner is one name that comes to mind) don’t seem to be ready for a return to Arsenal.
Indeed of all the players out on loan last season just three might be in line to join the first team squad next season – and in reality none of them look that likely. But tucked behind them there are a couple of other names we might see.
On 1 January 2012, Frimpong joined Wolverhampton Wanderers then of the Premier League, now of the third tier. The following day he made his debut, starting against Chelsea. But in his fifth game he ruptured a cruciate ligament in his right knee and that was that. He was then returned to Arsenal.
On 19 November 2012, Frimpong joined Charlton Athletic on a six-week loan and on 25 January 2013 he joined Fulham for the rest of the season.
Frimpong then got injured during Fulham’s 3-0 win at Swansea City and this led to another operation.
On 13 August 2012 Rio joined Wigan for the season and made his début on 28 August 2012. However, since then, he has been limited to three appearances due to injury. On 9 March, he returned again but was substituted after playing 45 minutes, due to an ankle injury.
In an interview he said, “My ankle is getting better so I’m comfortable at the moment. My target is to be fit in pre-season.”
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Unable to get a work permit in England, Campbell joined Lorient with on loan.
On 6 July 2012, Campbell joined Real Betis on a season-long loan. It has been announced that Campbell’s loan with Betis would be extended through 2014, although the story that I read seemed to have him extending his loan, before the original one had started! Maybe a slip of the typing finger, maybe not.
Joel Campbell has 22 full caps – but not enough yet to give him a work permit, although I believe that after another year in Spain he could take on Spanish citizenship, which would give him entry under EU rules.
Last season Joel started 24 games and had 7 as a substitute.
So a much smaller list of possibles than normal, and within that list two with regular injuries and one who maybe ready to return or may be staying on loan for another year.
The other loanees last season were: Andre Santos, Chamakh, Aneke, Roberts, Djourou, Bendtner, Denilson, Ju Young Park, Wellington, and Samuel Gallindo.
If we had to pick anyone from this list to make a return it might be Chuks Aneke who played 30 times for Crewe last season, or perhaps Samuel Gallindo, who might be ready to get a passport now. But Gallindo e has not shown overwhelming promise during his loan spell, and he moved back to Bolivia to play for Club Jorge Wilstermann.
Which takes us back to Chuks Aneke. At the end of the season the Crewe Chronicle reported that Steve Davis, the manager of Alex, said he has been very happy with the loan, not least because he scored two superb goals in the last two games.
Aneke has only one year left on his contract at the Emirates and the manager at Crewe said:
“He has to assess what he is doing at Arsenal and find out whether they think he is going to be good enough for their team. We’ll keep in touch with his agent and him because he has settled in here and the lads have been brilliant with him. I’d like him to help take us to the Championship.”
Aneke scored eight goals and got a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy winner’s medal. He said in a local interview…
“It was good to end on the high. It has done me the world of good here and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I just want to enjoy my football wherever that is next year, that’s what I am looking for now.”
So, maybe Chuks, maybe not. And if you want one more outside bet there is Phillip Roberts who played 17 games for Inverness Caledonian Thistle last season.
And if not, well, maybe someone can move up from the fringes of the first team squad.
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