Striker Zak Ansah appears set to accept Arsenal’s offer of a new one-year contract ahead of the new campaign, but fellow forward Benik Afobe may well depart on a permanent basis before the end of next month.
Ansah, after showing much initial promise as a schoolboy, has found the going considerably more difficult since turning professional, with injuries and the extraordinary progression of Chuba Akpom providing barriers to his progress.
However, the striker, who recently trained with Ghana’s U20 World Cup squad after switching his international allegiance to the African country, is still determined to impress at Arsenal and, after amassing 28 appearances at U21 level, could experience his first loan spell next season.
Afobe, in contrast, appears to be coming towards the end of his time with the club, particularly in light of the confirmation of the acquisition of Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre. Afobe’s spell as a professional, like Ansah, has been decimated by injury, but the 20 year old has also taken in loan stints with Huddersfield Town, Reading, Bolton Wanderers and Millwall, the most recent of which was cut short by yet another injury from which he has almost recovered.
League One side Bristol City have an interest in signing the England U21 international on a permanent deal and are expected to make an offer for his services in the coming days. If he were to elect to move to Ashton Gate, Afobe would join fellow former Gunner Jordan Wynter and potentially goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook, who is on trial with Sean O’Driscoll’s side.
Sanogo, meanwhile, will go straight into Arsenal’s first-team squad, although quite how often he will be called upon during his first season at the club remains to be seen. He is likely to miss the Asia Tour due to his on-going commitments with France at the U20 World Cup, but should feature in the Emirates Cup and will be hopeful of shining in competitive competitions during the campaign.