The January transfer window opens next week and several Arsenal youngsters could go on loan before the deadline. Here’s a look at five players who could depart on a temporary basis.
Sanogo has been heavily linked with a loan move in recent weeks, with Crystal Palace and Lorient amongst the clubs reportedly interested in his services. The French striker has an impressive goalscoring record for his country at youth level, but has failed to find the net with such regularity in an Arsenal shirt, with a loan spell likely to provide him with the perfect opportunity to hone his talent.
The striker has been left frustrated by his lack of first-team game time this season and a loan move would enable U18 strikers Stephy Mavididi and Kaylen Hinds to push into the U21 side. Akpom struggled to establish himself during stints with Brentford and Coventry City last season, but with his Arsenal contract set to expire at the end of June, he could impress both Arsene Wenger and other potentially interested parties with some good performances in a competitive division. Some may question the sense of sending both Sanogo and Akpom out on loan, but neither player has featured regularly for the first-team this season and both are in need of regular game time.
Physically-imposing central-defender Ajayi has made the bench for the Arsenal first-team on several occasions this season, but Isaac Hayden’s return from injury is likely to push him further down the pecking order at the club. Like Akpom, Ajayi’s contract expires next summer, and the Nigerian youth international is in need of competitive football after a year and a half of experience at U21 level.
Macedonian youth goalkeeper Iliev came close to leaving Arsenal last summer and he has endured a frustrating season so far, with a combination of injury and the form of others restricting him to a solitary appearance for the U21 side. With Matt Macey ahead of him and Ryan Huddart also capable of stepping up to the U21s, Iliev may have to leave on a temporary basis to get his career back on track.
In one of the more obscure stories involving Arsenal youngsters, Bolivian international midfielder Galindo has been on the club’s books for nearly five years but has yet to make a competitive appearance for the Gunners at any level. He has been sent on loan four times, but he hasn’t played any games since a spell back in his homeland with Jorge Wilstermann in 2013. Another loan would take him to the end of his Arsenal contract ahead of his seemingly inevitable departure next summer.