Monday, March 20, 2023

A look at Arsenal’s young loanees

The loan transfer deadline proved eventful for Arsenal, with three of the club’s youngsters joining lower league sides on a temporary basis.

Semi Ajayi has linked up with Cardiff City in a deal that will take him to the end of his Arsenal contract, whilst Chuba Akpom has completed his temporary switch to Nottingham Forest as the promising striker seeks to add to his experience of the professional game.

Another move involving an Arsenal prospect went through before the cut-off point, with midfielder Jack Jebb re-joining League Two side Stevenage for a second spell.

The creative midfielder, who has previously been capped by England at youth level, made five appearances for Stevenage earlier in the campaign before suffering a serious injury during a training session that caused him to be sidelined for 13 weeks.

Jebb (pictured) has returned stronger for the experience, however, and was impressive as he played the majority of the game when the U21s faced Blackburn Rovers recently. Although his long-term future at Arsenal is uncertain, Jebb will relish the opportunity to play again and will hope that he receives sufficient opportunities to impress over the next couple of months.

Akpom, meanwhile, seems set to return to Arsenal in the summer as he continues his quest to make the grade at the club. The striker has been a fringe member of the senior squad this season, but has yet to score a professional goal, something he will be seeking to address during his time at Forest.

The youngster has much time on his side, given that he is just 19 and recently signed a new contract with the club, but he will be looking to prove as soon as possible that he is capable of carving out a prolonged career for himself at the highest level.

In addition to Jebb and Ajayi, several other members of Arsenal’s U21 squad are currently on loan- namely midfielder Jon Toral, winger Wellington and goalkeeper Josh Vickers.

Toral has impressed when afforded the opportunity to showcase his worth at Brentford, but, despite his talent, it is difficult to see where the Spaniard fits in long-term given the multitude of midfielders on Arsenal’s books.

Vickers has caught the eye with non-league side Concord Rangers, but, despite his feats, isn’t guaranteed a new deal with Arsenal when his current contract expires in June.

There has been much talk regarding the future of Wellington, who, after several years in the wilderness, will finally be eligible to play competitively in England from next season. The Brazilian has spent this season with Almeria, for whom he has impressed intermittently, and he will be assessed by Arsene Wenger and his coaching staff in pre-season.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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Thanks, useful to know.

It looks like Akpom is the only one with a hope of an Arsenal first team future. Would like to be wrong though.


From this list of players, yeah Akpom is probably the only one that stays(Although I think Toral’s a pretty good player). I only see about 3-5 players from Arsenal’s academy making the Arsenal first team anyways tbh(Or PL team from our youth teams)

Akpom/Crowley/Reiss Nelson/Isaac Hayden And maybe Maitland-Niles or O’Connor.

Zorro in the Box

Whatever happened to Chris Willock? Thought he was pushing Akpom in terms of talent?


He just turned 17 in January


Willock is on the brink of breaking into the U21 team and is still crazy young. Just turned 17, he looks a real talent.


Not Zelalem? He’s been more involved with the first team than any of the above except Akpom.


I think this season was Haydens chance, unfortunately due to injury and our need for PL ready cbs I feel he will no longer have a long term future. Would love to be wrong.

Dan Man

If he has patience, he certainly does. Mert is old, or he looks older due to being so slow. Kos ain’t that young anymore. He has a chance if he waits.


Ever notice how the players tend to talk fondly about their time at our club?
I recently did the stadium tour (sad bastard that I am) But its a smashing experience. I got a good feeling while there.
Wenger is a legend…….he has nurtured the ethos……we have moved stadium…….I think we are about to move on in the results and trophy department as well.
Compare that with Utd , bunch of mercenaries now, just like City. Chelsea, as well, only one sugar Daddy protects them from the inevitable.
Love my club!


Wellington seems to have loads of natural ability, wonder if Wenger is able to help turn that into performance on the field, like he has with many others.

If he does we would have an exciting winger with slightly different ability to the options we currently have in that position.

Zorro in the Box

Ryo had ability. Wellington may have the fitness and physique – his issue may be attitude and application.

We’ll have to see, but I think he may go down the Vela, Campbell, Botelho and Ryo barrel of promising talent that flattered to deceive.

Hope I’m wrong though because a tricky winger in the Neymar mould would be brilliant.

Bit older than a “youth” but where is Gnabry? Bring him back!

Anonymous Physicist

He’s been injured for almost a year, but is currently fit again and away with Germany U21, if I’m not mistaken.


I fear you may be right about Wellington’s attitude. He’s been granted a work permit (finally…), so I can see him being loaned out next year to an English club to get to grips with the physicality. Has the air of Frimpong about him.


This ridiculous. I’m sorry, but people are still judging Wellington over his attitude…. when he was 16. It’s been noted that his attitude was addressed by himself mid last season, when it looked like he was a goner. Since then, he had a great performance second half of the season, earning him his loan to la liga 1 Almera. Since then he’s shown huge promise in performance. Very inconsistent, but when he has been good., he’s been really good. Certainly outshone Joel Campbell when they played against each other a few weeks back. Wellington has things to work on, but… Read more »


He’s only 19


Wellington is 21.
That’s still young though, considering he’s been playing against the likes of Barca and Madrid.


This is just the players out on loan. Akpom certainly has the attributes to make the step up. I feel for Toral, injuries have really hampered his progress, but hopefully now he can develop further. I sincerely hope that the youngster bide their time, learn their craft and then take the chances when they get them. Zelalem ought to have had a loan outing too….

Chairman Meow

Jebb (pictured) has returned stronger for the experience, however, and was impressive as he played the majority of the game when the U21s faced Blackburn Rovers recently.

That ‘however’ is really annoying

Third Plebeian

Yes, and that’s because ‘however’ should never appear between two independent clauses.


I think Chuba Akpom will make it in Arsenal squad.

Me So Hornsey

How’s Joel Campbell doing?


This season started full of promise for Joel, but unfortunately it looks like his Arsenal career might be coming to an end. He was widely praised for his World Cup performances, but he hasn’t kicked on since. He’s had over 10 loan appearances for Villarreal and hasn’t scored.


I wish every one of them to make it into the squad without ever selling anybody else from the first team (pretty much). Unfortunately I haven’t seen any of them in action really, except Campbell at the WC. Guess that’s where the general perception comes from that Joel should be a first teamer, when in truth most football fans don’t know much bout the youngsters, except what is fed to us by the media. I think that’s why our youth columnist Jeorge Bird is underrated. Thanx Jeorge, for the frequent updates, without them I would know pretty much nuffin’ about… Read more »

RoyKeane's Beard

Crowley should get some time in the fringes next season,frm the youtube highlights av seen of him,he has a messi-espue close control and a great eye for a pass! As for a DM,I’d prefer one close to 30 since we have Le Coq and Bielik who are Still youngsters.

RoyKeane's Beard


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