Arsenal currently has a staggering 26 players loaned out, 12 of which come from their academy. Just so people are aware, this solely relates to their men’s academy, as the women’s academy is extremely difficult to find reliable information on, and there are very few instances where a player is loaned out and remains in the academy. However, I cannot find reliable contract expiry figures for the academy so that information will be excluded from my judgement.
If you would like to only find out about specific players, you can do so by using the ‘find’ option on your browser (Ctrl+F) and typing in their names. So, let’s dive right in and find out where these players are in the mind of Arsenal and Arteta and whether they have a future with the Gunners.
Brooke Norton-Cuffy is an 18-year-old under-23’s player, who plays as a right-back or right-winger. He is currently on loan at League One side Lincoln City, and currently has 3 caps for the England U19’s. He was loaned out in January, after impressing for Kevin Betsy’s side.
Norton-Cuffy has played 14 games, being a regular starter, and has impressed many. Arteta’s head has likely been turned by this spell, and will likely give the youngster some time during the preseason, competing with the likes of Maitland-Niles, and will either take him on during the season, or send him on loan to a Championship club.
Harry Clarke is a 21-year-old, who operates as a left-back. He is currently on loan at the Scottish Premiership club Hibernian, and also was on loan at Ross County. He was loaned out to the Staggies in the summer until January, and when January came he was given an 18-month loan to Hibs.
Due to an injury, Harry Clarke was only given his debut on the 2nd of April, but still managed to score the equaliser as the game finished 1-1. Arteta and Arsenal won’t be able to make a clear decision yet due to the injury, but initial signs are positive, as he retained his place in the side.
Jordi Osei-Tutu is a 23-year-old professional footballer player, who is ordinarily a right-back. He is currently on loan at League One side Rotherham United, and also was on loan at Nottingham Forest. He was loaned out to the Reds in the summer on a season-long loan, and in January was given a 6-month loan to the Millers. He was recalled from Nottingham Forest due to repeated injuries.
Osei-Tutu has been a regular starter, and helped Rotherham to win the EFL Trophy, as he scored the very late equaliser to take the match to extra time, which his team came out of victoriously. I believe that Arteta will give him a more challenging loan next season, and could test him at preseason along with Norton-Cuffy and Maitland-Niles. However, there are rumours that the Gunners will acquire a new right-back, and if that happens, Osei-Tutu could be one the first on the chopping block.
Matt Smith is a 21-year-old player, who plays as a central midfielder. He is currently on loan at League One outfit Doncaster Rovers. He was loaned out in July, after not getting any first-team opportunities. Matt Smith has played a staggering 3145 minutes for Doncaster Rovers, and has impressed many, including his boss Richie Wellens, who he also played under at Swindon Town. Arteta will definitely be looking at getting Smith a challenging loan deal, likely in the Championship, as he has played over 30 league games in 2 seasons straight, or even trial him during pre-season.
Ryan Alebiosu is a 20-year-old professional footballer, who plays as either a left-back or right back. He is currently on loan at League One side Crewe Alexandra. He was loaned out in January, as he needed game time in the men’s game. However, Alebiosu has only played 4 matches for Crewe Alexandra, due to injury. This probably puts him fairly low in Arteta’s mind about right-backs, but probably will be given another loan move to another League One team.
Tim Akinola is a 20-year-old player, who operates as a central midfielder. He is currently on loan at League One outfit Crewe Alexandra. He was loaned out in January, as he hadn’t gone out on loan before and needed time in the professional game. However, Akinola’s season has been tainted with a season-ending injury, so, just like Alebiosu, he’s going to need a new loan deal next season, or go back with the 23’s.
Tom Smith is a 20-year-old, who plays as a goalkeeper. He is currently on loan at National League club Welling United. He was loaned out in the summer, as there was an abundance of goalkeepers in the 23’s. Tom Smith hasn’t been able to play much due to injuries, and Welling signed a replacement goalkeeper to replace him, as he was injured fairly early into the season.
Tom Smith is nowhere near Arteta’s mind, especially with the likes of Leno, Ramsdale, Hein, Okonkwo and Rúnarsson all being higher up in the hierarchy than him, and so he’ll need to get more experience to be anywhere near the first team, even as a third or fourth choice.
Tyreece John-Jules is a 21-year-old who typically plays as a striker. He is currently on loan at League One side Sheffield Wednesday, and currently has 2 caps for the England U21’s. He was initially loaned out in the summer, as he had been collecting minutes in the men’s game for a few years now, but was recalled from Blackpool, as he was struggling for game time and hadn’t scored in his 11 appearances.
However, just days after making his debut for the Owls, he picked up an injury that has ruled him out since the 3rd of February. He hasn’t been able to pick up a league goal this season, and so will need a massive recovery next season, and either a loan, or a sale. I believe that there is a small possibility next season that, especially if Arsenal gets Europa League football, John-Jules stays as a cup/PL2 player, due to the shortage of strikers at the Gunners, but my prediction is that he stays at a similar level.
Karl Jacob Hein is a 20-year-old, who operates as a goalkeeper. He is currently on loan at Championship club Reading, and currently has 12 caps for Estonia. He was loaned out in January, as the club knew he needed game time. He was loaned out to fight for his place at Reading.
Karl Hein has been injured since late February, but has still collected 5 appearances in the Championship. Due to the Gunners’ lack of a third-choice goalkeeper, he has a real opportunity of becoming the Gunners’ pick, if he can outfight Rúnarsson during pre-season. If he can’t, he’ll likely be subject to another loan where he can become the first choice at a respectable level, unless the Gunners get into the Europa/Conference League.
Daniel Ballard is a 22-year-old professional player, who plays as either a central midfielder or a centre back, and also has 13 caps for Northern Ireland. He is currently on loan at Championship club Millwall. He was loaned out in the summer, as they wanted to build off his 25 game season for Blackpool.
He has done that, with Milwall boss Gary Rowett stating, “Someone like Dan Ballard, I’ve said it before, we’d love to keep him at the club, whether that’s on loan or whether that’s permanently. But he’s Arsenal’s player and I’m sure they’ve got a plan for him long-term that’s maybe not the exact one we would hope for. We’ll see. We’ll get through to the end of the season and see where we are then.”
I think that, if Ballard isn’t sold off (which I doubt Arsenal would do yet anyway), then he could take a spot in Arteta’s cup squad, especially if Arsenal get Europa or Conference League football. Ballard is one of the top players from this loan academy crop, and he’ll sure be staking his claim against the likes of Trusty and Mari next season.
Jordan McEneff is a 21-year-old, who operates as a central or attacking midfielder. He is currently on loan at League of Ireland Premier Divison club Shelbourne. He was loaned out in January, as he needed to recover from a long term injury. However, thunder struck yet again, as on his full debut, and he has been reduced to 9 appearances.
Arsenal may decide to give the youngster another 6 months on loan when the season starts, as he will need a more consistent run of games before they can make a proper judgement on whether he can make it or not, given his injury issues and lack of opportunities on loan.
Nikolaj Moller is a 19-year-old professional footballer player, who is primarily a striker, and plays for Sweden’s U19. He is currently on loan at Eerste Divisie side FC Den Bosch, and prior to that, he was also on loan at 3. Liga side Viktoria Köln. He was loaned out to the Billy Goats in the summer on a season-long loan, but in January was recalled given a 6-month loan to Den Bosch. He was recalled due to a lack of game time.
Moller has played 9 games, scoring 2 goals so far for the Blue & White Dragons, so I think that Arsenal will leave him at a similar level until January, when they will be able to make an accurate prediction on what to do for the good of his future. Moller has a lot of potential, and in a few seasons down the line, he could be a very good player for Arsenal.
First-team challengers/More challenging loan:
Daniel Ballard, Karl Hein, Matt Smith, Norton-Cuffy
Back to the 23’s/Stays at a similar level:
Nikolaj Moller, Jordan McEneff, Tyreece John-Jules, Tim Akinola, Ryan Alebiosu, Jordi-Osei Tutu, Harry Clarke
Goes on a lower level/less challenging loan:
Well, that was long. This article has reached 10,000 characters, around 1800 words, and gone through the 12 players who have gone out on loan and are current players this season at Arsenal. If you have enjoyed this journey, please let us know, and I could bring more for your club or, if you are an Arsenal fan, more content going forward. I hope you enjoyed it. Bye!
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