Arsenal only loaned one youngster out in the January transfer window, but it was a significant deal, with Emile Smith Rowe joining RB Leipzig for the remainder of the campaign.
The 18-year-old, who has struggled with injuries in recent months, will hope to receive much playing time in the Bundesliga as he looks to improve even further.
A positive that Smith Rowe can take from this situation is that it isn’t unchartered territory for an Arsenal youngster, with Reiss Nelson also currently on loan in the Bundesliga at Hoffenheim.
Nelson has made an excellent impact for his temporary side, scoring six goals in 13 Bundesliga matches, while he has also gained Champions League experience.
There have been some difficult moments for Nelson to endure, too, as he has found himself left out of the side on several occasions and has had to cope with an injury in recent weeks.
Nelson and Smith Rowe could face each other when their loan teams meet later this month and it would certainly be an intriguing battle between two of the most exciting prospects to have emerged from the club’s Hale End academy in recent years.
Both players signed scholarship terms in 2016, and, while Nelson’s breakthrough into the first-team at Arsenal came much earlier, Smith Rowe is also a superb talent.
Assessing how Nelson has performed so far this season would certainly give Smith Rowe much inspiration to succeed. Nelson has seized most of the opportunities that have been afforded to him as he has played without fear.
Smith Rowe is cut very much from the same cloth, with his penchant for gliding past opponents a key asset. He may not be exactly the same type of player as Nelson, but they both possess a desire to constantly improve and make an impact.
If all goes well then there is a chance that Nelson and Smith Rowe could go from being opponents in the Bundesliga this campaign to both being part of the Arsenal first-team squad next season.