The nine Arsenal players sent out on loan this season – and how they fared

Quick Reads

It’s not quite Chelsea’s 41-strong army of loanees, but Arsenal nevertheless have some promising talent playing elsewhere this season, with nine players sent out on loan to other clubs.

It’s quite an eclectic mix, too – some are down in the lower leagues, some have taken leftfield turns, and a couple are emulating Jadon Sancho by developing in the Bundesliga. 

It’s a mixed bag in terms of success, but some have impressed and have every chance of a bright future with the Gunners.

Takuma Asano

The Japanese international has a long way to go before becoming Arsenal’s answer to Lucas Piazon, perennially playing his football elsewhere, but he’s got off to a good start.

This season he’s made 13 appearances, playing just 700 minutes for Bundesliga side Hannover, who stopped playing him to avoid triggering a £2.6million permanent move.

Kelechi Nwakali

The 20-year-old Nigerian was sent to Porto in the summer but found his opportunities limited in the Portuguese top flight and dropped down to their B team.

Things took a turn for the worse in March when visa issues left him stranded in his home country after he returned for the 2020 Olympics. 

Having won the Golden Boot at the Under-17 World Cup in 2015, this has been a frustrating year for Nwakali.

Matt Macey

Macey received plenty of praise for his performances in the first few months of his spell at Plymouth, but an up-and-down season with the Pilgrims – in which he made 38 appearances but was dropped for a spell at the start of 2019 – ended with relegation from League One.

The goalkeeper made the headlines on the final day when he tried to throw the ball out so he could receive treatment for a muscle injury before Scunthorpe’s Josh Morris dashed to keep it in play before lobbing him.

Plymouth’s Twitter account called the goal “the most unsporting goal in Home Park history”.

Eat your heart out, Mateusz Klich.

Calum Chambers

Chambers was part of Fulham’s shaky backline before being moved into a defensive midfield role and was one of the few players at Craven Cottage to come out of the season with some credit.

Reiss Nelson

After looking good in pre-season with Arsenal, Nelson got off to a flying start with Hoffenheim. Working under 31-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann, who has a reputation for improving young players, everything looked rosy as he scored six goals in his first 11 appearances for the club.

But he’s since been hampered in injuries, scoring just once in the six months since.

Emiliano Martínez

With Petr Cech retiring this summer, a slot is opening up to become Bernd Leno’s back-up. It remains to be seen whether Unai Emery will look to the transfer market, but Martinez could hardly have done more in his spell at Reading.

He made more saves than any other Championship goalkeeper this season and was a big part of the Royals survival bid.

Krystian Bielik

Lee Bowyer’s Charlton are vying to go up via the play-offs, and Arsenal’s promising 20-year-old centre-half has been integral to their success this season, making 33 appearances in all competitions and even chipping in with four goals and two assists.

2-1 up against Doncaster from the first leg, Bielik could soon get a taste of the big time with a Wembley final against Portsmouth or Sunderland.

David Ospina

The Colombian has one more year on his deal at Arsenal, having moved on loan to Napoli after a deal with Besiktas broke down.

He has been rotated by Carlo Ancelotti with young Italian keeper Alex Meret, and it doesn’t seem like he’ll stay at the club as they stopped playing him before a compulsory purchase clause was triggered.

Emile Smith Rowe

Used by Emery in Arsenal’s cup excursions, Smith Rowe scored three goals before Christmas and showed some signs of promise.

But since moving to RB Leipzig in the winter window, his opportunities have been even more limited, with his Bundesliga career effectively amounting to two injury-time cameos off the bench.

Injuries have played a major part in his lack of progress, but Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick has suggested the club would be interest in re-signing Smith Rowe again next term.

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