The seven Arsenal players out on loan this season – & how they’re faring

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Arsenal currently have seven players out on loan this season – but how are they faring at their temporary homes?

Renowned for their development of young players, Arsenal currently have prospects on loan in Germany, Portugal and England’s lower leagues.

We’ve taken a closer look at how those shipped out on loan have started the current campaign.

David Ospina

A much-maligned figure at Arsenal, Ospina’s days in north London appeared numbered after the Gunners signed Bernd Leno in the summer.

The goalkeeper promptly joined Napoli on a season-long loan, with the Serie A outfit holding an option to make the deal permanent.

Ospina made a slow start to the season and was dropped after a 3-0 defeat to Sampdoria but has worked his way back into the side, keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool in the Champions League.

Reiss Nelson

“A loan wasn’t always my first option,” Nelson recently admitted, “but when I heard the Bundesliga and Hoffenheim was an option for me and working with the manager there, it was something I wanted to do.

“Julian’s a great manager and he’s got belief in young players so it’s a good place for me to go and play.

“He’s very young, he’s only 31, and I think it’s important to go to a team and a coach who believes in you, so he was the main reason because he is willing to play us.”

Nelson has made a bright start to his season-long loan in Germany, scoring twice in his first three Bundesliga appearances, while he has also broken into the England Under-21s squad.

“It was hard to leave my boyhood club Arsenal, it’s still my dream to play for Arsenal, but I know I have to put that on hold and go and play abroad to get some experience in Germany,” he added.

“So I’m trying to do my stuff there, get stronger and come back ready to play for Arsenal’s first team, so I had to take the opportunity to go there.

“I’ve settled in well and I’m enjoying it. My dad is German too, from near Munich, so I knew what to expect and I’m learning the language with an app called Babbel and it’s going well.”

WATCH: Arsenal loanee scores stunning free-kick for England Under-21s

Matt Macey

Signed as a teenager from Bristol Rovers five years ago, Macey made his debut for Arsenal against Norwich City in the League Cup last season and was rewarded with a new long-term contract.

The 24-year-old is spending 2018-19 on loan at Plymouth Argyle, who sit bottom of League One despite some eye-catching performances from the goalkeeper.

Calum Chambers

Arsenal handed Chambers a new four-year contract in July before allowing the defender to join Fulham in August.

The England international made 24 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners last term and was even utilised in midfield by Unai Emery in pre-season.

But the 23-year-old has found life difficult at newly-promoted Fulham, who have struggled to establish a settled defence, conceding more goals than any other side in the Premier League.

Chambers has made just three starts and failed to make the bench against Everton before being ineligible to face his parent club.

Krystian Bielik

Bielik made four appearances for Charlton at the start of the campaign but has failed to appear since scoring a late winner against Southend in September.

“He’s a very good player and that’s why we wanted to bring him in,” Charlton boss Lee Bowyer said after that game.

“He’s good at everything – he can play centre-half, he can play in the middle of the park and he’s shown that. He’s very good on the ball but sometimes took too many touches – but that’s under-23s football.

“He thinks he can dribble from the back, go past four players and that’s normal. It’s not normal, not in men’s football. He still has to learn but that’s why he’s with us because he’s an exceptional player.

“You can see he’s an exceptional player but he needs to learn and he will learn under us because we’ll tell him the right things to do.”

Takuma Asano

Having spent two seasons on loan in Bundesliga with Stuttgart, Asano returned to Germany to join Hannover in the summer.

The Japan international has made five appearances in the league without scoring, although he has notched in the cup.

Kelechi Nwakali

Prior to this season, Nwakali’s Arsenal career to date consisted of three loan spells in Holland, but he headed for pastures new in the summer by joining Porto.

The 20-year-old is appearing for Porto B in Portugal’s second tier, while the midfielder has lofty ambitions after making his senior debut for Nigeria.

“One of my dreams is to be Nigeria’s greatest ever footballer and it’s not just saying it but to work for it,” he told The Nation Sport and Style.

“I believe with hard work and humility, I will achieve my dreams.”


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