Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Pleguezuelo ends loan spell but Arsenal departure seems likely

The season may have long since finished for Arsenal, but until tonight they still had one active player as far as the 2017/18 campaign is concerned, with Julio Pleguezuelo finishing his season on loan at Gimnastic de Tarragona in the Spanish second tier.

Pleguezuelo’s spell with Gimnastic came to an end tonight as the centre-back completed the entire 90 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano and he will be delighted to have played a part in ensuring that his temporary side managed to avoid relegation.

Although he had to endure a spell out through injury, Pleguezuelo still had a rather successful second half of the campaign with Gimnastic overall as he made nine appearances, building upon the experience that he gained with Mallorca last term.

It has been an eventful campaign for Pleguezuelo as he also contributed to Arsenal’s Premier League 2 title success with some excellent performances for the U23s earlier in the season, which included what turned out to be a very important late equaliser against Derby County in December.

Now, though, it is questionable whether Pleguezuelo will be seen in an Arsenal shirt again as there is a possibility that the Spaniard could be released this summer.

At the age of 21, Pleguezuelo is at the stage in his development where a decision needs to be made regarding his longterm future and it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will be afforded an opportunity to impress at Arsenal, especially following the arrival of Konstantinos Mavropanos and with the likes of Krystian Bielik and Ben Sheaf having been converted into centre-backs.

When Pleguezuelo joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2013 there was a considerable amount of hype surrounding him and, initially at least, it seemed to be justified as the youngster produced some standout performances at youth level.

Despite being short in stature, Pleguezuelo is very quick and is excellent technically, while he is also extremely committed and possesses excellent leadership skills.

At times, though, he can be guilty of making rather rash challenges and can get caught out of position, and now it seems as if he will have to go elsewhere in order to continue his development.

If Pleguezuelo does depart then it will be rather disappointing to see him go but at youth level sometimes tough decisions have to be made and, at this stage, it would probably be best for both parties for him to depart and give himself the best possible chance of carving out a successful career elsewhere.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

 

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Twatsloch

What I’m keen to know is what’s going to happen with Perez?

Jack but

How do I pronounce his name?

King 14enry

PLE-GUE-ZUELO

Anonymarse

It’s a shame, he could have made our new back line even more unpronounceable

occamshatchet

His postmatch interview after the U21s won promotion back to the first division still makes me smile. (link: https://streamable.com/oxzo4)

I always liked the kid. He was a good youth captain, and it’s a shame he couldn’t quite make the step up. I wish him all the best wherever he lands.

TR7

Thanks for the link! Classic!

Prof Wenger to Emerytus

Seems to me good enough to replace Mustafi.

Harish P

I feel like him and Toral are great but somehow just weren’t seen as good enough. There was a time I thought he could develop into a DM with his ability to handle defence and combine play, but has become a commanding CB leader.

Hope he does well going forward with or without us, looks a promising player who just needs the right chance.

bdotm

“At times, though, he can be guilty of making rather rash challenges and can get caught out of position”…..ermmmmm Mustafi is that you?

A Different George

Well, it describes a lot of younger centre halfs, including Koscielny when he first arrived.

Faisal Narrage

“Krystian Bielik and Ben Sheaf having been converted into centre-backs”

And now Wenger has gone, it’s time to reverse that policy of “if you’re big and athletic yet good on the ball, we must convert you from a DM to a CB”.

Bielik in particular needs to be given a chance in midfield again, where he shone so brightly before we tried to Djourou him.

Rob67

Indeed ! The Wenger obsession of square pegs in round holes, must be ended.

A Different George

I hated it when he turned Kolo Toure into a defender and Henry into a striker. Maybe the obsession that ought to end is with revisionist history of Wenger.

Faisal Narrage

Henry was always a striker, confirmed even by himself. He was a striker at Monaco and went to the World Cup with France as a striker. Time for that myth to end.

Listen, I’m no denying Wenger has been a genius with youth in the past, but the fact you’re pointing to Kolo as your example, almost 2 decades ago, kinda says it all. Do you know how many young DMs we’ve converted into CBs over the years much to their own development?

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