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March 2021

Which loan player will come back next season and play for us?

By Tony Attwood

Each season, as always tells us, players go out on loan.  Sadly, not many come back to make an impression, but we always hope some will.  Here’s a roundup of those who are still on our books.

1: Ignasi Miquel

He started 11 games for Leicester and came on as a sub once in a season long loan.  It doesn’t really sound like Arsenal form to me.  But Leicester did go up, so he was playing for a winning side.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 3/10

2: Damian Martinez

Damian was the keeper who got selected for the Argentine bench at a very early age, because of injuries to others.  He played 14 times for Sheffield Wednesday – not a high recommendation, but he could be the third choice keeper for next season.  He has played five times for the Argentine under 20s.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 7/10:

3: Chuks Aneke

Chuks is 20, has played for England’s under 16, 17, 18 and 19 side.

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This season he made 38 starts and came on as a sub 6 times, scoring 16 goals for Crewe in a season long loan.  That’s not bad considered Crewe ended up 19th in the league.

It was his second season at Crewe, and the goalscoring achievement was much higher this time round, so maybe he is pushing for a place in the squad, but I wonder if he hasn’t left it a bit late…

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 4/10

4: Johan Djourou

23 games for Hamburg, in a season long loan.  But Hamburg are not Arsenal, and with three quality centre backs in the Arsenal side I can’t see him returning.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 1/10

5: Francis Coquelin

Just 16 starts for Freiburg doesn’t sound that good, especially as he has had 21 games for Arsenal, and a previous season on loan to Lorient.  I’m sad about this one because we’ve seen him rise through the ranks from the old Austrian training camps.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 2/10

6: Joel Campbell

Joel played all season long for the Greek champions, knocking up 32 starts and 10 games as sub, scoring 8 goals, including one against Man U as Olympiacos knocked them around in Europe.

That was his most productive season in three loan spells that have taken in Lorient and Real Beatis as well.  Is it enough?

He’s not a productive scorer at the moment and we know who is in front of him, but he is only 21 so there is still time.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 7/10

7: Wellington
Wellington got rave notices when he signed, and then the reality set in – he had to get to grips with life physically. He’s been on loan to four different clubs, but isn’t scoring.  10 starts and 23 games as a sub doesn’t suggest he is ready yet.  Except that he played for Real Murcia who came 4th in the second division in Spain, up from 19th the season before.  Was he part of that?

He can play on the wing or as a forward.  If he is going to make it, I don’t think it is yet and given that he is now 21 I am not sure it will be ever.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 1/10

8: Benik Afobe

Injuries have plagued his career – in the few moments when he has been injury free, he has shown his style and ability, but it would need a long spell without injury to convince Mr Wenger that he is ready.

He joined Wednesday at the end of January after yet another long lay off, and made 5 starts and six appearances as a sub with two goals.  And he is now 21.  I am so sad to say I just can’t see it happening.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 2/10 

9: Daniel Boateng

Daniel is a mystery to me.  Each loan spell seems to have resulted in hardly any games (just five with Swindon, Oxford and Hibs) for the captain of the reserve team.

He is 21, and something is wrong, but I don’t know what.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 2/10

10: Ju-Young Park 

The transfer of Park to Arsenal was explained on the Arsenal History Society site as deal done to help him get the documentation he needed.  Maybe,  but the fact is that on loan to Watford he only got two games.

Chances of being in the Arsenal squad next season: 0/10

11: Chuba Akpom

Chuba Akpom is not listed as a loanee by Arsenal because he was called back from loan at Coventry (where Drew and I saw him play).  But the deal allowed him to play for Arsenal in the UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup.

He is 18 and has played more England games than club games.

He could be in the squad next season, or have a loan with a Championship club.  I can’t really give him a score but he’s the one I think will make it – but maybe not this coming year.


17 comments to Which loan player will come back next season and play for us?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Off topic

    just read this tweet from Ozil:

    “Congratulations on the arrival of your newborn! May little one be blessed with every happiness. @mertesacker”

    It looks as if we have a BLFG now. A Big Little F****** German 😉

    Congratulations Per!

  • oldgroover

    I was thinking on this very subject earlier today, and thought that if Campbell should have a decent WC we might see him next season. Martinez would be the other most likely to return with the others remaining on loan or being sold on. However, returning loan players shouldn’t be used instead of purchases in essential positions.

  • john L

    i would really like to see campbell, akpom and aneke come back to the club this season and make a push for the first team.
    i think for campbell, the WC and this next year are make or break for him in regards to making it at arsenal.
    akpom and aneke have impressed me every time ive seen them play, i think they are up their with gnabry and zalalem in terms of potential. i would like to see them in LC and making appearances as subs.

  • Shard

    I’m not sure but I think I read earlier that Hamburg had signed Djourou permanently.

    I think I agree with your ratings Tony, although I’d like Aneke to be given a chance as well as Joel Campbell. Damien Martinez is probably a given as 3rd choice keeper.

    I feel sad about Miquel and Coquelin as both have shown glimpses of talent in the first team and I thought that they didn’t let us down when they played, but with Arsenal rising in the money stakes, it is going to be even harder to get in the team now. Although of course, Wenger will keep making space for youngsters. Not just because of his convictions, but because the rules require it now.

    Akpom might need a loan. What is up with Eisfeld? He seems to have disappeared. Then there are Olsson and Toral who were being talked up before, Hayden and Bellerin as well.

    I wish more youth players start to make the grade, maybe with the League Cup being used to blood them in again along with some experienced players.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Carlos vela??? Ok not technically on loan, but a player sent out with a relatively cheap buy back clause

  • bjtgooner

    Tony of the 11 players you list I reasonably well agree with your ratings. I have not seen a lot of Martinez certainly not enough to make a judgement. I liked what I saw of Akpom during last summer’s tour, at that stage he almost looked ahead of Sanogo. Now while Sanogo has not yet troubled the scorers (thank you PGMOL) I can see a considerable improvement in his play – he does have a long way to go and desperately needs game time – but he could be another AW gem in the making.

    I quite like Aneke – he has ability, if he had a bit more pace he would be the ideal understudy for Arteta. For now the jury is out.

    Shard has quite rightly mentioned Eisfeld. I not sure what has happened to him, injury? When I last saw him he looked a bit lightweight. But what I liked about him on last summer’s tour was that he had a knack of turning up at the right place within the box at the right time – a future fox in the box?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree bjt, Sanogo has improved. He is raw and needs to work on his touch and finishing, but last sat, he caused havoc in the hull defence when he came on wenger having changed tactics. The guy is a battering ram! That said, I would have liked to have seen more of Chuba this season, and would like to see Campbell the next.
    Eisfield…a strange one. Hoped for more of Zelalem and Gnabry too….maybe we could not play too many youngsters due to the difficulty of most of the cup draws we got last season….and the pressure wenger was under to succeed?
    With the youngsters, wonder if Jonkers arrival means a different direction and a slightly different way of playing?

  • I was trying to limit myself to those who were on loan plus Akpom who came back from loan.

    Eisfeld was on the bench for the FA Cup semi final I seem to remember and is still at the club… I’ll do another article shortly on the players who have had the higher end squad numbers on any that might break through. Plus the story about Carlos Vela returning.

    I suspect that if there are to be any serious players stepping up it will be a player who moves up from the youth setup like Gnabry did this season.

    As I said, I’ll try and draw up a list in a while.

    After all, we’ve got a whole summer to fill with not much happening.


  • bjtgooner


    Good point about the cup draws, with easier draws the Young Guns would probably have had much more playing time.

    One disappointing aspect of some of the loans is the lack of playing time – in that case I sometimes feel the YGs would learn more by remaining at the Emirates.

    Re Sanogo – when Giroud plays as the sole striker he is often double marked, in fact against Hull he seemed to be triple marked for the odd goal kick – but when Sanogo comes on with Giroud (as in the cup final) he creates so much havoc that suddenly Giroud and our attacking midfield seem to have much more room. I need to watch the cup final again to really analyze the movement.

    Re Campbell – looking forward to see how he does at the WC.

  • Tom


    “Re Sanogo – when Giroud plays as the sole striker he is often double marked, in fact against Hull he seemed to be triple marked for the odd goal kick – but when Sanogo comes on with Giroud (as in the cup final) he creates so much havoc that suddenly Giroud and our attacking midfield seem to have much more room. I need to watch the cup final again to really analyze the movement”

    No you don’t . Your observations are correct. A lot has been said about Walcott’s absence having a negative effect on Ozill’s performances throughout the season but it also had similar effect on Giroud’s as well.

    Playing Giroud alone up front with his back to goal, plays right into strengths of typical British PL defenders who love a physical battle and will take it with a smile all game long. Bruce, Chester and Davis of Hull are no different. Harassing Giroud from behind and having him chasing lost causes frustrates him greatly and his ability to finish off chances suffers for it.
    As much as I like Podolski’s ball striking abilities , I was screaming for Wenger to bring on Sanogo who is still very raw and at times looks uncoordinated but has a great attitude and most importantly moves defenders about and takes them out of their comfort zone.

  • Valentin

    @Tom, I agree with Sanogo ‘s presence unsettle Hull defense.
    Podolski, for all his striking ability does not fit our team. He does not really track defensively. Offensively he does not create, nor does he dribble past people in 1v1 situation, and his passing is mediocre. But more importantly, he does not run into position. He is always a few meters back from the action, when we need somebody to run beyond Giroud. Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky are very good at give and go pass. Podolski is too static to be effective in this team.

    Miquel’s contract expires at the end of June. It looks like he has not been offered a new one, so his chance of still being at Arsenal next season are zero.

    Damien Martinez’s loan was not a success. The few games, he played he was poor. Nerves, rash decisions. He need to go on loan and be successful there. The same way Vito Mannone first loan was a failure, but his second a success. Josh Vickers is more likely to be promoted to third goalkeeper. His loan at Canvey was a great success.

    Chuba Akpom was on loan at Coventry under the Youth Loan system. That meant that he could still play for Arsenal in Youth Cup and U21 games. Their coach complained about it. Arsenal immediate reaction was to terminate the agreement. I doubt that we would ever loan another youth team player to Coventry. It’s a shame, because I would have loved to see him play in a competitive league such as the Championship.

    Chuck Aneke had a great loan at Crewe. However earlier in his career at Arsenal, he refused to be converted into a deep laying playmaker a la Arteta. He is unlikely to unseat Özil, Cazorla, Rosicky in the role of 10 or forward central midfield general. So he may have a chance to impress pre season, otherwise next season will be his last as an Arsenal player.

  • I would rather take all the players you have mentioned on this years preseason tour – however short it is – since its a WC, not many senior players would be ready for the pre season, and for AW to evaluate them closely and make a decision, he does know how to spot potential. Unless a player he wants agitates for a move he wouldn’t let any of the promising ones go out.

  • Micheal Ram

    If we have better supporting fans at stadiums that these young boys play, perhaps they would have made it. Victims of oilers money indeed.

  • Gianni Dioro

    I still have a lot of faith in Wellington Sivla. He is only 21 and has just recently started breaking into Murcia’s starting 11.

    I believe he still has 2 more years in Spain before he qualifies for an EU passport so we probably won’t be seeing him for a year or two except for summer training.

  • TommieGun

    For me it’s Campbell with some distance ahead of the others.

    Champions league experience, being one of the the best attacking players in his squad (according to WhoScored score), scoring 8 goals, national team experience, AND he can provide cover for Theo as a quick right side winger.

    He will be playing for Costa Rica in the upcoming world cup and is actually someone I am waiting to see play.

  • bjtgooner


    Thanks for your comment. To qualify my earlier post when I stated: –

    “I need to watch the cup final again to really analyze the movement”.

    What I meant was not just review Sanogo’s movement and the way he upset the Hull defense, but review the change in space available to Giroud and our attacking midfield post the Sanogo introduction and how effectively that space was utilised.

    In other words, do a much more detailed review than is possible during match time.

  • menace

    Looking at the youngsters and loanees my favourite is Zalalem. Amazing footballing brain. Campbell is an amazing player having learnt barefoot developed natural touch. Gnabry has a rocket of a kick and should be encouraged to use his power. He got a fright when his free kick knocked an opponent out for a while. These three up front as additions.

    The likes of Bellarin are hard to find a strong fearless defender with pace and skill. He will enhance our right side of defence.

    Wenger knows his players well and will no doubt bring them on when they are ready.