In tonight’s programme, Per Mertesacker declares the loan system is ready to serve Arsenal well in the future. According to the Evening Standard, the BFG says:
The loan system should work brilliantly for us.
It’s difficult to manage and I’m really pleased and glad that it’s worked right now for him. We have other prospects we really need to think about. What’s their best path towards making an impact for our first team? There are different ways, different challenges.
Naturally, this all comes off the back of the outstanding spell at Hoffenheim Reiss Nelson is enjoying. Beyond that, you wouldn’t say the loan system has been a resounding success for the club in terms of producing
Typically, several youngsters each season go to other clubs but it’s worth noting that of the current first XI in the Premier League, only Hector Bellerin went on loan as part of his development. Aaron Ramsey’s spell at Forest was rehab and anything else was just a no, no, no.
Previously, we’ve seen players go on loan with the likes of Wilshere, Bendtner and Szczesny being the most successful in terms of developmental loans.
We have other loans as well. The infamous signings of players who can’t get work permits so we shove them to benevolent clubs on the continent but has any of those players proved worth the effort? I don’t think so; at best, the pursuit of Campbell and signings of Myachi, Wellington and most recently Asano, were foolhardy at best.
As a dumping ground for those we want shot of, the loan system sort of works. Jenkinson is a boomerang but Szczesny and Ospina finished their Arsenal careers with the door swinging extra hard to catch them on the arse to make sure they left.
Youngsters Set for Greta Moments
So when we talk of success with the loan system, it’s a pretty low bar. No wonder Mertesacker is clinging on to the hope Reiss Nelson continues his extraordinary form:
Some Bundesliga clubs are very interesting for us and the way [Reiss Nelson] could make an impact at Hoffenheim was by starting on the bench but then scoring immediately.
Through scoring those goals, he gained trust from the coach, from the fans, by learning some German and earning the right to start and make an impact.
I think he has done a brilliant job but that all fell into place because he wanted to go. He had a great opportunity but you need to take these opportunities and make sure you learn from those moments. Instead of being a first-team player between the under-23s and the first team, this is something different.
There are some, quite rightly, that the club doesn’t want to loan. Smith Rowe, Nketiah; the immediate future of the first team, sitting on the bench and trusted to perform in the XI when minor cup competitions come a-calling. Preparations for a bigger part, if needed, later in the season and definitely in the future.
But Arsenal aren’t alone in the sense that loan spells are notoriously difficult to manage successfully. Chelsea and Manchester City between them have something like 75 players on loan at mainly European clubs. New loan rules will screw them over but that’s their problem.
However, how many of those loan spells are successful in producing first XI players. Few and far between. It’s more important for the big clubs to sell starlets on; make the academies self-financing to a large extent. The philosophical and moral questions regarding the ethics are for another day.
Qarabag will no doubt face the three I’ve mentioned and if speculation from the Telegraph is correct – they took their eye off reorganising the Premiership and Brexit – Laurent Koscielny.
Based on a spurious logic, the Torygraph thinks Emery is concerned about Koscielny adapting to his tactics. As if his fitness isn’t enough of a worry, now the coach doesn’t think he can play in a back three with a pressing game at its’ heart. So, Stephan and Nacho will form a central defensive pairing in a back four.
And we thought the banter era was over. Unai, in those circumstances, would be turning it to eleven.