There have been many examples in recent years of Arsenal players heading out on loan only for their spell elsewhere to not go as intended.
Takuma Asano knows that only too well, with the Japanese attacker now in his third stint away from the club and seemingly no closer to ever getting the chance to represent Arsenal.
After joining Arsenal in 2016, Asano was sent on loan to Stuttgart and did rather well, earning himself a further year with the German club.
However, Asano found it difficult to cope following Stuttgart’s promotion to the Bundesliga, and he made less of an impact in his second spell.
Then came this season’s loan at Hannover, which hasn’t gone to plan. That, though, isn’t just down to Asano, with the 24-year-old having suffered some injuries that have hindered his progress.
In recent weeks Asano has become more involved with the team and featured as a substitute in the defeat to Borussia Dortmund this weekend. There is much work to do, however, if he is to get a run of games in the starting lineup before the end of the campaign.
If he is to stand any chance of succeeding at Arsenal then Asano must perform exceptionally well for Hannoverin the coming months, if indeed he gets am opportunity.
The likelihood is that Asano will never play a game for Arsenal, despite being capable of operating up front, out wide or behind the striker.
Asano’s contract with Arsenal expires in the summer of 2020, and, if no permanent buyer can be found this year, then it seems likely that he will be sent out on loan again for the remainder of his deal.
There is an obscure group of players who signed for Arsenal but ended up spending the vast majority of their time at the club out on loan without representing the Gunners competitively, with Pedro Botelho, Samuel Galindo and Wellington amongst its members.
Asano will be doing all he can to ensure that his name is not added to that list.