This week Ben Sheaf extended his loan spell at Doncaster Rovers until the end of the season, with the Arsenal youngster having gained plenty of experience at the League One club.
Sheaf has been a near ever-present for Doncaster and has performed well in the most part, often featuring in central midfield despite also being able to play at centre-back.
Building upon his previous loan spell with Stevenage, Sheaf has proven that he can be reliable performer in League One, yet it appears that a concrete decision on his Arsenal future will have to be made in the summer.
Next month Sheaf will turn 22 and he is certainly well beyond playing U23 football. Despite his versatility and impressive work ethic, it appears unlikely that he will be able to break into the Arsenal first-team squad and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he was to leave the Gunners permanently.
It would certainly be a shame to see Sheaf go, given the progress he has made since joining from West Ham United in 2014, but chances to add to his two first-team appearances would surely be scarce.
Sheaf is at the stage of his career where he needs to be playing regular senior football, and he has been doing just that at Doncaster, who would surely be amongst the contenders to sign him if he does become available.
With another crop of youngsters pushing to make the breakthrough, there will have to be some departures from the academy at the end of the season and Sheaf could well be one of them.