Four Arsenal youngsters in need of loan spells as deadline approaches

When Arsenal released a plethora of youngsters in the summer, questions were raised regarding whether the club would even be able to field a side capable of performing at U21 level, but Tuesday’s victory over Aston Villa demonstrated that coach Steve Gatting still has a whole range of options to choose from when selecting his second-string squad.

Against Villa, Gatting was able to call upon a starting line-up with a combined total of 33 appearances for the Arsenal first-team to their name, whilst regulars such as Chuba Akpom and Kristoffer Olsson were restricted to places on the bench.

Source: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe

Source: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe

When it is also considered that Zak Ansah and Zach Fagan are both still injured, whilst Anthony Jeffrey, Daniel Boateng, Gedion Zelalem, Hector Bellerin, Jack Jebb, Glen Kamara, Deyan Iliev, Tafari Moore, Leander Siemann, Renny Smith, Alex Iwobi and Jamaal Raage were all either on international duty or left out of the squad entirely, the strength in depth that the club possesses at this level becomes apparent.

Part of the reason for this surfeit of talent is the fact that, in comparison to previous seasons, the club have rather few players out on loan at present, with Ignasi Miquel, Damian Martinez, Chuks Aneke, Wellington, Josh Vickers and Austin Lipman the only players from outside the first-team squad who are currently on temporary transfer.

The loan transfer window for Football League clubs closes on November 28th, and, with Arsenal’s participation in the Capital One Cup over, it seems likely that some of the more experienced U21 players will go out on loan in the next couple of weeks.

One outstanding candidate for a loan spell is Thomas Eisfeld, with the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder having turned in a commendable performance against Aston Villa. Now regularly deployed in an attacking midfield role, the German is becoming increasingly involved in the build-up play as well as regularly contributing with goals and assists. That said, he will turn 21 in January and still lacks any experience of English league football, with a loan spell, perhaps at a Championship club, being the perfect opportunity for him to prove his worth.

Nico Yennaris, meanwhile, would also benefit from a spell elsewhere. The defensive-midfielder’s time with Notts County in 2012 was curtailed by illness, and, now 20, he is in need of regular football. It has been notable that Yennaris has trained with the first-team regularly this season since recovering from injury, suggesting that he still remains highly regarded by Arsene Wenger, who handed the youngster his Premier League debut against Manchester United two seasons ago.

Benik Afobe, perhaps once he has completed a couple more U21 matches, is also capable of playing at a far higher level, and has already experienced his fair share of loan spells with lower-league clubs. There have been some suggestions, however, that it would be preferable for Afobe to stay at Arsenal until January at least in case he is required for the first-team given the current lack of striking options.

Another player in need of a loan spell, but for rather different reasons to those listed above, is defender Daniel Boateng, who has entered the final year of his contract at the club and will be released in the summer. Boateng started the season in the starting line-up for the U21s, but has been increasingly marginalised in recent weeks, with 16 year old centre-back Julio Pleguezuelo being preferred to start instead. Boateng, who barely featured during spells with Swindon Town and Oxford United, will be seeking to find a club where he will be guaranteed regular game time in the hope of earning a permanent move next summer.




  1. Boateng ansah jeffery fagan wellington galindo afobe aneke miquel yennaris uade dawkins vickers I expect 90% of dem to leave permanetly when de season ends. The focus is now on the likes of gnabry zelalam akpom hayden bellerin olsson toral eisfeld crowley BOO maitland-niles

  2. IMO, these are the players most in need of a loan spell

    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Carl Jenkinson
    Daniel Boateng
    Ryo Miyaichi
    Thomas Eisfeld
    Yaya Sanogo
    Benik Afobe
    Nicholas Yennaris
    Zak Ansah
    Anthony Jeffrey
    Zac Fagan

    The surprise name being jenkinson, who I would allow to get regular football ahead of next season in case we don’t replace sagna. bellerin can provide cover and is more useful at the club currently as he can play in the yuoth champions league.

  3. I agree with the above about players who are likely to leave in 2014 with Frimpong and Miyachi at risk from the senior squad. Those two plus Afobe Aneke Miquel Yennaris might still one day play regular top flight football. Its a pity it will not be at Arsenal but presently there is little space in the senior squad for players who are not internationals. If Sagna, Vermaelen or Diaby left and were not replaced I would say YennarIs, Miquel and Frimpong might have a respite. I wonder if Gnabry would benefit long term from a loan next season if Campbell comes in? Agreed Eisfeld needs a loan. I think the best team of young Arsenal prospects at the moment is:
    Bellerin Ajayi Hayden Ormonde-Ottewill
    Zalalem Olsson
    Iwobi Eisfeld Toral

  4. Get Ryo there too. I suggest Wigan, Bolton or Feynoord. Respected teams. Pretty sure Martinez wont take him to Everton this time. Yennaris is very good I hope he go to a league 1 side for experience and fitness.

  5. There has seemingly been a change to our philosophy regarding loans. We used to have a shedload out on loan, but in the last couple of seasons it seems to be the case that we would rather keep players at the club. Next Gen and U19s CL plus the change to the reserve league may have had an impact, or maybe it is just a lack of belief in the system following many frustrations. Or is it the quality at the club? It could be a case that the right opportunities are not coming up for these players.

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