According to Training Ground Guru, Arsenal have appointed Ben Knapper to the position of loan manager.
This is a new role which will involve monitoring of players sent out on loan to other clubs, their performances and beyond.
Knapper’s previous position was that of ‘Senior Football Analyst’, which included providing the manager and the coaching staff with video and statistical analysis relating to team performance, opposition analysis and player recruitment.
Arsenal have a number of players out on loan at the moment, from David Ospina at Napoli who is unwanted by the first team, to Reiss Nelson at Hoffenheim whose time there is seen as developmental.
This new position will ensure that all loan players are monitored properly, an area in which Arsenal have been lacking in the past.
There’s the story of one young first team squad member who was sent out to another Premier League club in the last few seasons, did well there, but had almost no feedback from the club on his performances during the season or on his return.
When you’re sending young players out to get regular playing time, it’s important to keep an eye on how they’re doing, so this appointment is very welcome.
It’s also possible that more players will go out before the end of the January window, with Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah all earmarked for more regular first team football to aid in their development.
Arsenal loan players 2018-19
David Ospina, Napoli: 15 appearances
Matt Macey, Plymouth: 28 appearances
Calum Chambers, Fulham: 15 appearances
Krystian Bielik, Charlton: 18 appearances, 2 goals, 1 assist
Kelechi Nwakali, Porto B: 8 appearances
Reiss Nelson, Hoffenheim: 20 appearances, 6 goals, 1 assist
Takuma Asano, Hannover: 9 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist