Loan report- Forgotten man Park scores for Celta, worrying lack of game-time for other loanees

Park scored his second Celta goal on his 10th appearance

Ryo finally made his return from injury yesterday, coming off the bench to play the last 21 minutes as Wigan Athletic suffered a hefty defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. The Japanese youngster will now hope to work his way into Roberto Martinez’s starting line-up over the coming games.

Benik Afobe was un-used as Bolton drew with Barnsley in the Championship, whilst, in League One, Chuks Aneke completed 90 minutes for Crewe, seeing a shot saved as they lost 1-0 to Shrewsbury, the side against whom he made his professional debut in the Carling Cup last season.

Craig Eastmond was withdrawn in stoppage time as his Colchester side beat Bury 2-0. The defensive-midfielder saw a shot saved in the opening period and was also booked for a rash challenge, as well as being on the receiving end of several hefty tackles himself. Conor Henderson was again not part of Coventry’s matchday squad, with Daniel Boateng similarly not involved for Oxford. Philip Roberts was an un-used sub as Inverness were thrashed 5-1 at home to Motherwell.

In Spain, Ju-Young Park was on the scoresheet for Celta Vigo, with the South Korean applying the finishing touch to a dangerous cross to score his side’s only goal in their 1-1 draw with Mallorca. The striker was a lively presence throughout, whilst another Emirates Stadium outcast, Nicklas Bendtner, was a late substitute as Juventus and Lazio drew 0-0.

Neither Wellington nor Samuel Galindo were involved for Ponferradina or Lugo respectively, whilst Denilson and Joel Campbell are likely to feature for their respective loan clubs tonight.

As referenced throughout the report, many of Arsenal’s loanees were either un-used substitutes or not involved at all this weekend and this is something of a worrying trend which clearly needs to be reversed.

Ryo and Benik Afobe, for example, are two promising talents, but neither player has been able to hold down a regular place in the starting line-up for their loan sides, and this could serve to stunt their respective development. Conor Henderson and Daniel Boateng, meanwhile, have scarcely been used by Coventry and Oxford, and the best option for Arsenal may be to re-call the pair and send them elsewhere before the loan transfer window deadline on November 25th.

In contrast, there are some loans which are working out well for Arsenal youngsters, with Chuks Aneke and Craig Eastmond both flourishing in League One. It is heartening to see Aneke earning rave reviews at Crewe after he struggled during his two loan spells last season, whilst, although his long-term future will in all probability lie away from Arsenal, Eastmond is doing his future career prospects no harm at all at Colchester. Philip Roberts, for an 18 year old, has settled in well at Inverness.

The likes of Ju-Young Park, Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson will probably never play for Arsenal again, whilst it is highly unlikely that Samuel Galindo will ever pull on the famous red-and-white for a competitive fixture. Wellington remains an interesting talent, as his display last week showed, but it is a little worrying that at this stage he is still unable to command a regular place in the starting line-up of a Spanish second-division side.

The number of Arsenal loanees could swell this week with Emmanuel Frimpong poised, according to several sources, to join Charlton Athletic on loan, whilst there are several other candidates for loan spells but these potential deals will probably be put on hold until after Arsenal’s participation in the Capital One Cup this season is over.



  1. jeorge……a typo in your commentary……eastmond at colchester (not coventry) – you got it right in the loan report….

  2. Hopefully Ryo can push for a place in the Wigan side now that he’s fit, but Roberto Martinez has a settled side playing in an unusual formation so it could be difficult for him. Ryo is disciplined and hard working though so I think he can work his way into their system eventually, I just hope he does it sooner rather than later. A third of the season is now gone and he needs to start playing.

  3. Let’s be honest – if these lads can’t even get into lower league sides they are never going to play first team football at Arsenal. Once a player gets to 19 and has not featured in the first team then he should be allowed to move. If Stering is playing for England at 17 and Philip Roberts can’t get on the pitch in a 5-1 defeat for Inverness you have to think there’s a big difference in their skill sets

    1. One season does not decide the whole future. There are first team players who are not playing a lot in their teams but when they move on they became really good. But you have to show sign of that talent when you play. Henry and Viera didn’t play a lot but Look at Henry. Drogba became one of the best.

      19 years old? Are you kidding me? 19 and feature in any Championship team is world class almost. They came through U18 football which is FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR away league 2. Just imagine any 19. I say 22 years old and if you haven’t show anything yet by that time then its over here.

      Its always hard to get into a new team and learn fast during that spell. Some are playing a lot but that doesn’t mean they have a bigger chance to make it here. People seems to forget that we only wants world class potential from young players. That means top class performance whenever you play in any team and loan. Just because you play doesn’t mean you have what it takes and you are going to succeed and have a chance in our first team.

  4. Its not always that black and white. Gibbs had a pretty poor spell with Norwich. Whilst at the moment none of the lads out on loan look set to make a big impact on our team, Wenger and the coaching staff know a lot more than we do about these players capabilities.

    After his first two seasons, there wasn’t many Arsenal fans that gave Alex Song a chance of making the first XI on a regular basis but Wenger saw something in him.

    I think a loan to Scotland is indicative that Wenger doesn’t believe Phil Roberts will make the grade here in a similar way he loaned Stokes to Falkirk a few seasons back.

    I believe the coaching staff see it as part of their job to ensure the players coming through get the best chance to make it in professional football even if it is not with us.

  5. Whether or not the loan system works will always be argued but until we are allowed a b side in the football league or another international league then that is as good as it gets. personally i think we should be getting guarantees about minutes on the.pitch for these loanees. i said a while back that it appears the players with “no” futures at arsenal like denilson eastmond and park (and watt before his injury) appear to be getting more matches than those with apparently bright arsenal futures like wellington campbell afobe. perhaps more needs to negotiated and hopefully that is exactly what will happen with frimpong. However we have to all manage our expectations too. The fact is we have over 70 professionals at the club and whilst we didnt fill all our 25 man spaces for the premier league squad we actually had to leave players off the Champions league list. Lets all remember how old the likes of ian wright and drogba were before they comed good. look at leon osman 31 years old and he has just made it into the england squad as he is playing the best football of his career. another player who is starting to look the part is the much travelled wayne routledge. At almost 28 and with his 9th different club having had 2 spells with qpr he is suddenly looking like the player everyone thought he would be. then look at the flip side the players that sparkled in their early careers only to fade away for one reason or another senderos jeffers cadamateri kieron dyer, shaun wright-phillips, jon macken, michael johnson, to name but a few.

    1. “it appears the players with “no” futures at arsenal like denilson eastmond and park (and watt before his injury) appear to be getting more matches than those with apparently bright arsenal futures”

      I think for some of those players they’ve upped their focus and workrate as they’re playing for their next deal, because Arsenal won’t be offering them a new one. If they don’t perform now they could struggle for decent offers.

  6. According to goonrambler on twitter jamaal rage scored one and assisted one in the u16s 2-0 win. Jamaal later said on twitter this was ‘one of the best weeks’ of his life!

  7. That’s a good sign, its always exciting to have talented strikers coming through the youths.

    I was thinking last night about the successes and failures we’ve had with the loan system and it surprised me that 10 of our current first team squad have been (or in the case of Ryo, are still) on loan: Szczesny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin, Mannone, Frimpong, Gibbs & Ryo.

    The only players who joined us before the age of 20 and have not been on loan are Diaby, Walcott, Chamberlain & Jenkinson.

    Then all the other players in our squad joined with senior international experience (I think Fabianski had played the odd game for Poland beforehand) with the exceptions of Koscielny & Arteta who were both established players (less so in LKs case at the time).

    This is not to say that the loan system is infallible and we always implement it perfectly, but it is a bit of a numbers game. The loans of Szczesny and Wilshere are both commonly attributed with improving their games immensely, 2 of the starting XI isn’t bad.

    It is useful to tell what level players are at and how they progress. As bc pointed out, some players peak early and their initial promise can be misleading.

    1. I think for Wilshere or Szczesny their loans were not so much for learning or improvement, more to give them a bit of experience and an examination of their potential before putting them into the 1st team reckoning. And maybe, as they’re very confident young men, a loan could have also been seen as a way to keep them humble and hungry, make them work for their first team opportunities despite looking ready for them rather than being fast tracked. I personally don’t feel like those loan spells contributed much to their game, I just can’t imagine them not being starters for us today even if they had not gone out on loan.

      I think Coquelin at Lorient and Ryo at Feyenoord were the most successful loans we’ve had recently in terms of how much the player improved, and also how much more confident it made them which I think is very important. Not all youngsters that are blessed with great ability are also blessed with a strong and confident character, they need their self-belief to be built up, particularly when they begin to move out of youth football and start making their first steps into the professional game and face much older, experienced pros who will target a youngster if they show weakness.

      I’m not against loaning players out but I would much, much prefer it if B sides were implemented, even though that doesn’t look likely any time soon. It would make for a much healthier transition from youth to professional football for our youngsters, instead we have to put this critical time of their development in the hands of other clubs which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense once you really think about it. We meticulously develop them from the age of 9 or 10 until they’re wonderfully gifted teenagers, then chuck them out into the wilderness to see if they sink or swim. Some people will think that’s the way it should be but I’m not one of them, some of these boys need a bit more care and attention, they don’t all develop physically or mature mentally at the same rate. Loans cut the wheat from the chaff in a very straightforward way but I think we lose a fair bit of wheat with it.

  8. I appreciate that being able to get a large number of our kids out playing senior football at a decent level could be beneficial to us especially in regards to keeping a longer look at players like Lansbury who have reached the age where they have to be registered to our squad.

    However it simply cannot happen for logistical reasons. It is unfair for us and the other big teams to consider ourselves so much more important than teams further down the leagues to displace them. League clubs often do just as good as PL clubs at developing youngsters and in many cases better, look at Southampton.

    I do think the u21 league is working towards becoming more competitive and lets be honest if 10 PL teams implement teams into League 2 (for example), we’ll just end up playing against u21 teams every other week.

    The more likely option I would think would be if rules could be implemented wherein we could buy the playing and managing rights to a struggling team (see Portsmouth at the start of the season) and loan them 25 players for the season.

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