A host of Arsenal prospects have gained experience on loan this season. Here’s an assessment of how each of them have done.
Emile Smith Rowe
Having been used sparingly in the first half of the season at Arsenal, a period in which he often continued to struggle with injuries, Smith Rowe joined Huddersfield Town on loan in January.
The hugely talented youngsters has produced some excellent performances for The Terriers, and has provided three assists in ten Championship appearances.
Next season Smith Rowe will aim to become increasingly involved for Arsenal at first-team level.
The goalkeeper is one of Arsenal’s longest-serving players having been at the club for nearly eight years, while he is the oldest player in the youth setup at the age of 25.
Iliev spent the first half of the season on loan at Sered in Slovakia, where he featured regularly but kept just three clean sheets in 18 league games.
Midway through the season Iliev cancelled his loan with Sered to link up with Polish side Jagiellonia, but he has again been uninspiring and could be heading for a permanent departure from Arsenal this summer.
The right-back frequently impressed for Arsenal at youth level but has yet to make his competitive debut for the first-team.
This season Osei-Tutu has been gaining experience in the German second tier with VfL Bochum, for whom he has played 13 times, often featuring in his previous position on the right-wing.
Osei-Tutu is a hard-working and talented player, but, despite the uncertainty over who will be Arsenal’s back-up right-back next season, it isn’t guaranteed that he has a future at the club.
A centre-back who is a product of the club’s Hale End academy, Olowu hasn’t always been a regular for the U23s with there being much competition for places at that level.
Olowu jumped at the chance to join Cork City on loan and has played five times for his temporary side so far.
Next season Olowu could be sent out on loan again, perhaps preceding a permanent departure.
Out of all of Arsenal’s youngsters on loan, Sheaf has benefitted the most from his spell elsewhere.
The midfielder has made 32 appearances for Doncaster Rovers in League One, impressing with his professionalism.
However, at the age of 22, a decision will surely have to be made on Sheaf’s Arsenal future this summer and, even though he can also play at centre-back, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he was sold.
Olayinka scored a spectacular goal for the Arsenal first-team against Colorado Rapids in pre-season but has found it difficult to break into the senior squad.
In January Olayinka joined Northampton Town on loan and the midfielder excelled on his debut for the League Two side, receiving the man-of-the-match award for his display against Scunthorpe United.
An injury subsequently stopped Olayinka in his tracks but he could well be sent out on loan again next season.
The highly rated striker has featured for the Arsenal first-team but is yet to make his competitive debut for the club.
John-Jules joined Lincoln City on loan and scored once in seven games in League One before injury meant that he had to return to Arsenal for treatment.
Next season is an important one for John-Jules’ development. He could remain with Arsenal for the first half of the season before going on loan thereafter.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
How about a piece on ‘where are they now’ loads of youngsters (and ex first teamers) that have moved on, littered around Europe/world. Some of them were the next big thing but didn’t make it for one reason or another. Just an idea as topics slowly dry up!
”where are they now?”
Aren’t we all
Where is Junichi Inamoto
Blogs you’re waiting till the day before worlds end before you invite Jeorge for a Pod ? Can’t wait to hear the insights he must have on our less famous sources of hope
Ay yeah what the hell this should def have happened…