Zelalem and the Arsenal youngsters that need to go on loan in January 

The January transfer window is rapidly approaching, and, whilst there isn’t expected to be much transfer activity involving the Arsenal first-team, several of the club’s talented youngsters could secure loan moves elsewhere. 

With the Gunners having a sizeable senior squad and the injury situation starting to ease, it is difficult to envisage many first-team opportunities being given to members of the U23 squad in the remainder of the campaign, which indicates that a series of temporary deals could be arranged. 

Here’s a look at the players that could go on loan. 

Gedion Zelalem

The talented midfielder gained valuable experience on loan at Rangers last season but has been restricted to just two substitute appearances in the EFL Cup since returning to Arsenal. 

Zelalem is undoubtedly still a fine talent but time is starting to run out for him to make the cut at Arsenal and he is in need of a successful loan spell. 

Dan Crowley 

Crowley had a frustrating loan spell with Oxford United earlier in the campaign, and, as was the case with his stint at Barnsley last campaign, the agreement was terminated early. 

The 19-year-old is currently on trial at Go Ahead Eagles as he looks to earn a loan deal with the Eredivisie side. 

Matt Macey

Now classed as a senior player by Premier League rules, Macey has featured prominently for Arsenal U23s this season but the goalkeeper needs experience of senior football to further his development. 

If he does go on loan then Macey will hope to fare rather better than he did during his spell with Accrington Stanley in 2015, when he conceded with regularity. 

Krystian Bielik

Despite having been part of the EFL Cup squad, Bielik is still some way down the pecking order at centre-back, with his chances of making an immediate breakthrough into the squad lessened further by Per Mertesacker’s impeding return from injury. 

A spell at a lower league club would be hugely beneficial for Bielik and should provide some clues regarding whether he can thrive as a centre-back on the senior stage. 

Chris Willock

After amassing a wealth of experience of second-string football it is time for Willock to head out on loan. 

The winger, who made his competitive debut for the Arsenal first-team this season, should go to a League One or League Two side but needs to play regularly.  



  1. Disagree with a couple on here – for different reasons.
    1) Matt Macey – think he should be let go, not loaned. Do not see enough quality in him tbh.
    2) Krystian Bielik – actually think he would do better staying here this season. Still developing in the role, and see little point in him playing in League 1 or 2 (don’t see him starting higher).

    Chuba Akpom should go, fitness permitting. Jeff seems to be stalling somewhat, I think he should have a loan. Same goes for Ismael Bennacer, tbh.
    Can’t see Maitland-Niles getting much chance either, and don’t think U-23s is what he needs.
    Zelalem and Crowley definitely – although I have doubts either should be at the club next season, Crowley especially.

    The big problem is finding teams who will give these players a chance at a good enough level. Only really have faith in AMN and Akpom getting starts in the Championship – never mind the PL (although I think AMN would have a chance at someone like Hull).

  2. I really think some of these guys need to be moved away from their ‘social comfort zone’. Like the guys on loan in Holland, I’d be inclined to look for 2nd tier Dutch/Belgian/French etc etc teams for these lads to get some competitive game time. In a surrounding where technical ability is appreciated but their mates aren’t around to distract them from being professional.

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