Arsenal have had a number of players away on loan over the past season but with the campaign at its close, what will happen to them? Do they have a future at the club, will some go into the academy and will others leave for pastures new?
Let’s take a look at the stars who have spent the season away from the club.
Wojciech Szczesny (AS Roma)
What’s abundantly clear when it comes to the Poland international is that he loves Arsenal. He is a supporter of the club, grew up watching them and became their no.1, whether he stays or leaves he will always have a good relationship with the club.
Szczesny has had a very solid season at the Italian side, with them finishing third in the league, confirming their UEFA Champions League status.
Reports are that the ‘keeper is likely to leave, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was on loan again because he could yet salvage his Arsenal career. Roma have made no decision as to whether they want to keep the Pole yet and with Petr Cech 33-years-old, he’ll only have a season or two longer at the peak of his abilities, while Szczesny at 26 has plenty left to offer.
Yaya Sanogo (Ajax & Charlton Athletic)
Sanogo has, putting it kindly, had a terrible start to his Arsenal career.
He doesn’t seem to have much to offer and suffered a dreadful spell on loan at Ajax at the start of the season, with his time at the Dutch club cut short. He then moved to Charlton and it all started off so well, scoring a hat-trick. He was sent off later in his time there and injury meant that he was only able to play a bit-part role.
Due to the Frenchman being quite young still, it’s unlikely that Wenger will sell him on this summer, so another loan could be in order.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Ipswich Town)
Maitland-Niles started his loan at Ipswich really well, a permanent fixture in the side and Mick McCarthy admitted that the winger would have a bright future, whether at Arsenal or not.
However, the second half of the season saw some controversy with his mother and the 18-year-old saw his game time severely limited.
Another loan spell is the likely option, a move to the Premier League at a side where he is guaranteed minutes would be good for his progress.
Isaac Hayden (Hull City)
Hayden will return to Arsenal this summer. Wenger will have wanted the versatile star to progress as a central defender but he was used more by Steve Bruce in a defensive midfield role. Again, the England youth star was a bit in and out of the side.
His future looks uncertain, the Gunners are likely to take him on their pre-season tour where he’ll have the opportunity to impress. If he does, he could find himself on the fringes of the first-team, if not, another loan move or a permanent move away seem viable options.
Chuba Akpom (Hull City)
Another loan move for Akpom seems likely, with Stephy Mavididi proving himself to be closer to the first-team than Akpom is at the moment.
Wenger will be wary not to let the striker go though, with the success of Benik Afobe something for the Frenchman to think about.
Emiliano Martinez (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Martinez found himself as the starting goalkeeper for Wolves but after picking up an injury, couldn’t quite get back into the first-team and had to sit on the bench for the rest of the campaign.
A bit frustrating but the Argentine could soon find himself as the club’s no.2. If Szczesny decides his future is away from Arsenal and David Ospina becomes fed up of being Cech’s back-up, Martinez could soon find himself in a battle with Matt Macey for the second spot.
The likely situation is that Martinez will leave the club again on loan but move somewhere that he’ll get more game time.
Jon Toral (Birmingham City)
Toral is almost certain to return to the club and will be in and around the first-team. The Spaniard has proven himself to be a mega talent, being voted Birmingham’s Player of the Season and scored a number of fine efforts.
The only problem for Toral is that ahead of him in the first-team is Mesut Ozil, who has just had the season of his career.
Toral can feature anywhere in the front three behind the striker and he is a Wenger player, skilful, clinical and has an eye for a pass. What Wenger does with him next season will be interesting but he’s likely to be in the first-team.
Wellington Silva (Bolton Wanderers)
Silva, unfortunately, had to suffer his first ever relegation, with Bolton departing the Championship after a torrid campaign.
The Brazilian was not one of the better players for the club, his future at Arsenal looks all but over. His performances have just not proven good enough and he looks to be heading down that road Ryo Miyaichi went down, which ultimately led to him leaving the Gunners.
Gedion Zelalem (Rangers)
Zelalem had a pretty decent season on loan at Rangers, playing on 25 occasions, although the majority of them came from the bench.
The American youth international is a very talented midfielder and is likely to stay in north London in the new season, having already featured for the first-team on a few occasions.
The departures of Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky make it even more likely that Zelalem will stay on next season.
Glen Kamara (Southend United)
Kamara came into the first-team for an appearance against Sheffield Wednesday but didn’t have the best of games. The occasion clearly got the better of him and he was not ready for the step-up.
However, being on loan at Southend – despite having not been there for too long, Kamara has shown that he is a class above a League One side. The Finish starlet will likely go on a season-long loan next season with the opportunity to prove to the club what he can offer.
Mathieu Debuchy (FC Bordeaux)
Debuchy is a good right back but the emergence of Hector Bellerin and the Frenchman’s want of first-team football means that he’s going to have to leave the club this summer.
The 30-year-old has been harshly done by, his injury problems led to the discovery of Bellerin’s talents and with the 21-year-old much younger than his rival, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
It will be interesting to see whether Debuchy joins another Premier League side or if he goes back to France.
Carl Jenkinson (West Ham United)
Jenko didn’t have his best of seasons on loan at the Hammers in the past season. It was his second time at the club after a very successful first spell but he just didn’t reach that same level of performance during his most recent spell in east London.
The England international then picked up a horrid injury which saw him leave the club and return to Arsenal early. His injury means that, although he’s likely to spend the season as back-up to Bellerin, the 23-year-old won’t be leaving his boyhood side.
Serge Gnabry (West Bromwich Albion)
Gnabry had a terrible time at West Brom – and not even necessarily down to his own performances, he just wasn’t given the chance by Tony Pulis.
The winger is a talented footballer and had his spell at the Midlands side cut short. It appeared that he would move away on another loan in January but it wasn’t to be and the German found himself back in the under-21s, although he was training regularly with the first-team.
Gnabry will likely stay at Arsenal next season, a decision needs to be made on him and with the possibility of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both leaving the club this summer, he could be forced into making a real step-up.
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