Friday, July 12, 2024

Arsenal youngsters show pros and cons of loan system

Arsenal, perhaps more than any other club, have been frequent users of the loan system in recent years for various purposes.

The most common reason for sending a player to go out on loan is so that they can gain invaluable experience of competitive football, but, in addition, some players require loans in order to earn work permits that would enable them to play in England, whilst, on occasion, more experienced individuals undertake temporary transfers after being starved of game time at their parent club.

At first glance, this would appear a flawless practice; a player goes out on loan and, at the end of the specified time period, returns ready to challenge for a first-team place at Arsenal. But, although the likes of Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny have trodden that path, it does not always work out that way.

Take Wellington for example. The promising Brazilian youngster signed from Fluminense is currently in the middle of his second spell at Spanish side Levante as he attempts to earn a work permit. Since moving there for his initial spell early this year, however, he has made a grand total of two first-team appearances and is currently contemplating a move to another European side in the upcoming January transfer window.

Samuel Galindo, who is a full Bolivian international, is in a similar situation to Wellington in that he is still without a work permit. Having endured a frustrating time at former link club Salamanca last season, he has joined Gimnastic de Tarragona this but, again, has found game time hard to come by.

Pedro Botelho, meanwhile, is now well into his fourth separate Spanish loan spell. Having spent time at Salamanca, Celta Vigo and Cartagena, he is now plying his trade with Rayo Vallecano, where he has impressed so far. There comes a point, however, when you start to wonder whether we will ever see the Brazilian left-back/winger, who likens his style to that of Gareth Bale, turn out in an Arsenal shirt.

It is not just abroad where youngsters are finding it difficult to get games. Young goalkeeper James Shea, who made the bench for several Arsenal fixtures in the Premier League and FA Cup last season, was recalled this week from a spell at Dagenham & Redbridge, where he had made only four appearances since joining in August. Of course, goalkeeper is not a position open to regular rotation, but having also had a spell at Southampton last season when he didn’t feature at all, Shea has cause to be aggrieved.

It is not all doom and gloom, though. Luke Freeman has impressed so far for Stevenage, Kyle Bartley is back in the Rangers side after injury and Joel Campbell has found the net a couple of times for Lorient in France.

It is worth remembering, however, that the loan system does also have its flaws, as those alluded to above would testify, perhaps suggesting that greater research, particularly with regards to foreign sides, should be undertaken beforehand to ensure that Arsenal’s young talents end up benefitting from, rather than coming to regret, their stints elsewhere.


Jeorge Bird is the author of

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jeorge, you column isnt anywhere near long enough or often enough – love it!!


I think the thing we have to look at is if these guys are not getting into low level European teams, are they good enough for us?


Ashley Cole struggled for a mere Crystal Palace.

Look where he’s ended up now: Cashley.


Stuck in a ageing team full of cunts?


Remember that Javier Mascherano, then already a full Argentine international, couldn’t get a game at West Ham when they were bottom of the league.


Easy solution for Shea: dump the three stooges of Almunia, Fabianski and Mannone — all of which are not good enough as displayed last night— and make Shea Szczesny’s understudy.

As for our other loanees, the clubs taking the players need to be told that if our loanees don’t get the games, Arsenal will not take any future loan requests from these clubs seriously.


Real shame about Wellington. I remember how much I was looking forward to seeing him play for us- his talent is definitely being wasted.


Dosent Pedro Botelho get his work permit next year?


He should do as he would have been in Europe for 4 years or 5 seasons

Ace McGoldrick

Botelho seems to have been on loan for yonks. Hope we get the see the guy at Arsenal just for his patience! Shame that Wellington and Galindo still aren’t getting games. On another note got high hopes for Kyle Bartley he looks a monster


Wellington has become an annoying issue over here at Levante. No interest in training, a serious attitude problem, and no team spirit at all. Things a team like Levante can’t afford to deal with, and that explain why he hasn’t played a single minute this season.

Fed up of Barca

Its simple, the loan club agrees to a clause in the loan contract that stipulates loanee must get X% of game time.


What exactly is required for Wellington and Galindo to gain work permits?
I only have limited (Football Manager) experience with them. Must they play a certain number of first-team games to attain the permit? I thought it was to do with how many times they represent their respective national sides.


You need 4-5 years “working” in a european country or you need to have played enough international games for your country as long as they are ranked high enough (stops clubs exploiting commercial avenues in smaller countries where their players have no chance – samoa, papua new guinea, anguilla, etc…). For the working aspect; it’s based on having to play a certain percentage of games for the club, which is why people like Pedro are struggling. He’s played quite a few games this season, so Arsenal will probably apply arguing that he’ll get games with them (CC, FA cup) or… Read more »

Midfield Corporal

Wellingtons attitude has been a problem for some time now. If he can’t get a work permit because he can’t get in the team then we are better off without him. I think we should have a big photo of Jay Emmanuel Thomas at the youth centre to remind players that talent alone isn’t enough. And maybe one of Lee Dixon proving that with hard work and commitment you can achieve more than you thought you could.


Why Lee Dixon? Steve Bould would be better but then they can see him in person if they just go to the under 18’s training sessions…..

Midfield Corporal

I just thought out of all the players over the past 20 yrs Dixon was the one who mad the most of his limited abilities, I always thought boldly was quite classy. But it’s a fair point.


Ray Parlour would be the best example!


@Midfield. Good point well made. I think that was the thing about the team in those days. They played as a team, so every player upped their game to not get left behind. Not amazing indvidually but they worked hard for each other.

@Dan… IT’S ONLY RAY PARLOUR!!! Would be the comment.

Devil Melon

Is it not possible for Arsenal to set up a second club (e.g. Dial Square Youth FC) and enter a team of Wellington et al in a lower English Football League?

North Bank Ned

Though Spain, for example, allows junior teams of the top leagues to play in lower divisions, in England, the ownership rules are set up against it. Under the ‘fit and proper’ tests of ownership of a football club in England no owner of one club can be involved, or “have the power to be involved” in another.

North Bank Ned

Football has a stricter test of fit and proper ownership than any other industry in the UK and the EPL/FL/FA tests are more restrictive than those required by UK company law. I would bow to m’learned friends if that makes them open to a legal challenge, though my understanding is that there is not much or any case under UK law though the same may not be true under EU law. However, it would take a brave club with deep pockets and even more extensive patience to take a test case to the courts.

Devil Melon

I thought league regulations would come into play! It’s a real shame that other countries, like Spain, are willing to allow 2nd and 3rd teams to play in lower leagues. Perhaps it’s this attitude and openness that is the difference between European Under-19 participants and Champions. Could you image how amazing it would be to have an Arsenal 2nd team coached and mentored by Dennis Bergkamp, who is currently studying for his coaching badges, feeding the Arsenal 1st team for generations to come? And without the need to send young players to all corners of Europe just to play regular… Read more »


But how long until the EPL and/or championship were just full of Arsenal A, B & C, Man Utd A, B & C, etc… Especially with the new youth policy coming into effect.


There’s always a chance that there could be a league which is made up of the majority of bigger teams youth teams which would make the whole thing pointless.


Santos just tweeted and google translated this as this:

“Just got to take aq! Yesterday I twisted my ankle in a bid silly, the doctor said qo, I q 3 weeks of each gravy, aff: ((”

Apparently he needs three weeks off gravy?


i think we all knew he needed 3 weeks off of gravy. just hope his ankle gets better soon.


That would explain his weight. If he’s drinking gravy instead of water then it would start affecting you.

Midfield Corporal



Pretty sure he meant on the gravity tread mill …sigh


Midfield Corporal – statue of Arshavin ? You mug. JET won more for the club than arsehavit ever will.


What? Wrong topic me thinks


on a side not, BASIL BASIL BASIL!!!! fucking hilarious


Basel even.. yeah too funny


Can’t we send our reserve team and all the work permit players and create a new feeder club in a country orleague that allows it (Spain) lol just buy some shitty stadium and ship them all out there since it can’t be done domestically.

Ok ok I’ll let myself out haha
But I love seeing the youth/reserve players to know who to get excited about for the first team. Has to be a better system


A loan should benefit the team they go to as well as the player and parent club so that makes it poor decision making from Arsenal if that players fails to get games. Outside injury it should be part of the loan that the player plays X amount of games, surely. If Wellington has only played two games then I doubt he will be too impressed with Arsenal which in turn will not be good for his development.


He hasn’t played any games for Arsenal as he can’t get a work permit, hence why he’s at Levante in spain. I don’t think it’s Arsenal’s fault that he can’t get a game there as you can’t force a team to play your loanee.


please grow up!
did you tell him he’ll be dumped to a yo-yo spanish club he signed?
yes it’s arsenals fault, believe me if we agreed to fluminese request to keep him in brazil for another year he could have earned few caps by now, like neymar, lucas silva


It’s for a work permit you moron. Why go back to Brazil to not gain enough EU points to get the work permit to play for Arsenal? Learn about it first before commenting and making yourself out as an idiot.


Why choose them to loan him to then? There must be plenty of eligable clubs prepared to take young talent they would normally not have a chance to get otherwise. It makes no difference whether he had played for us or not, we (arsenal) loaned him to a club not prepared to play him and that is pointless.


Because we are a “parent club” to Levante. We can send players on a season-long loan to gain a work permit. As they are in a lower position than say Real, Barca, Valencia, etc.. the chances of the loan going through are significantly higher.


Just because a club is interested in loaning a youngster doesnt mean he’ll get games. The player still has to work hard in training and take the chances given to him. If the player is training badly or failing to impress during trainings then he shouldn’t be given games. It doesn’t matter if its a loanee from barca, real or arsenal, if he’s not applying himself then he should rightly sit on the bench. End of story.


what a wonderful football night last night. well done fc baselona ! thank you for making my week sebastian frey. could this be finally it…no more false dawns please..let it be real this time…them MUGS need a downgrade to the leeds level …thats their future.


levante did not say he doesn’t train or disrespect training.
they just say twitting and eating pizza which is ridiculous accusation.
so ridiculous an 18 yrs old away from home who’s dream move turned out to be a f- nightmare is being slag off by own fans. arsenal supporters surely have become worse than spurs.
maybe you should have told him before he signed that he will need years before he kick the ball for us.
shame on you!


No one’s slagging him off, they’re being realistic. We’ve had problems with players attitudes before and still do; Randell, Arshavin, Reyes, Anelka, Emmanuel-Thomas, Nasri, etc… I can write a full list if you want. When reports from a countries media comes out with those sort of claims, then you would be wary as you can’t see them first hand.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x