Spanish defender Ignasi Miquel will spend the entire 2013/14 campaign at Championship side Leicester City as he attempts to prove that he is capable of making a long-term breakthrough at Emirates Stadium.
Rather strangely, this is the 20 year old’s first temporary transfer since joining the club, with the former Barcelona youngster having garnered considerable experience of second-string football following his arrival from Cornella in 2008.
Miquel has 14 senior appearances to his name, five of which came in the Premier League over the past two seasons, but, despite the departure of Sebastien Squillaci over the summer, concerns still exist that the Spaniard lacks the physicality to play in the Premier League on a regular basis, whilst, despite demonstrating an improved reading of the game in recent months, he still remains somewhat error-prone.
It is hoped that his spell at the King Power Stadium will provide him with regular game time, after which a decision is likely to be made about his Arsenal future, with his contract due to expire next June.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson said of the signing: “Ignasi is a centre-back with lots of potential and he will give us another option in defence. He’s very enthusiastic and delighted to be here, which is a big part of taking players on loan for us. We’ll see how he is with regard to availability and whether he will be part of the squad for Sunday’s game against Leeds.”
Miquel may well be joined at Leicester shortly by another Arsenal Academy graduate in Nico Yennaris, with the midfielder also desperate to prove his worth having struggled to break into the first-team picture last season. Yennaris’ previous loan spell, at Notts County in 2012, was cut considerably short due to illness, but, like Miquel, he has now entered the final year of his contract and is in desperate need of regular football.
Miquel’s temporary departure takes the current number of Arsenal loanees to five, with Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Joel Campbell (Olympiacos), Francis Coquelin (Freiburg) and Chuks Aneke (Crewe Alexandra) completing the quintet.