By Tony Attwood
Arsenal have moved senior football analyst Ben Knapper over to the new position of Loans Manager.
Ben Knapper has been working for Arsenal with Prozone who gather sports data for Arsenal – having joined the club in 2010. It is said that he will work with director of football Raul Sanllehi and academy manager Per Mertesacker both in deciding who should go on loan and then seeing that the players are treated fairly once on loan.
This in my view can only be for the good for time and again we have seen players going out on loan for no benefit at all – just sitting on the bench or not even being picked.
Of course this won’t stop the fantasy stories circulating about transfers, as with today’s Football.London headline…
“The shirt numbers available to Suarez, Carrasco and Barella if they sign for Arsenal in January”
But it does show just how mismanaged loan spells can be and how vital it is to stay on top of what is happening.
Here’s our list…
Takuma Asano (Hannover 96)
Asano is not getting games. He started off well with Stuttgart when he first went on loan but this season has only played six times for Hanover and as a result of this has been dropped by Japan for its internationals.
Krystian Bielik (Charlton)
On 16 August 2018, he joined Charlton for the season and scored his first goal on 1 September. So far he has played 19 games for them and scored twice. In 2017 he graduated to the under 21 Poland team but has now reached that age, and has not yet played for the full Poland team.
Charlton are currently fourth in the third tier and although a little way off making the automatic promotion places look to have a good chance of making the play offs.
Calum Chambers (Fulham)
Calum has now made 14 starts for Fulham who are having a really tough time in the league, as you’ll know. His priority must be to get back to the form he had when we signed him in 2014.
Matt Macey (Plymouth)
We started the season with too many goal keepers over 21 and Matt Macey was one who lost out and got a loan transfer. He’s been with us since 2014 but not played for the first team, instead getting games with Accrington Stanley, Luton and now Plymouth – for who he has played 24 times this season. So at last he’s the regular choice.
The trouble is that Plymouth are one from the bottom of League One and have conceded 47 goals – the third worst in the league.
Reiss Nelson (Hoffenheim, Germany)
Aged 19 Reiss became the star of our on loan players when having played three times for Arsenal moved to Germany for a year – where he has played 13 games and scored six in the league.
Counting cup games his total is now 16 games for Arsenal and 19 for Hoffenheim. However his career was interrupted when he did not return to Germany after the winter break in that country – for what were described as “family reasons”. The club are currently seventh in the German league just outside the European positions.
Kelechi Nwakali (Porto, Portugal)
After a loan spell with MVV Kelechi went to Porto, but has only played four times for their B team although this season he has played once for Nigeria.
David Ospina (Napoli, Italy)
David Ospina has played nine times for Napoli.