Swanson’s versatility could prove useful on loan


Players can progress very quickly and that was certainly the case with Zak Swanson last season.

This time last year he had only just been promoted to the U23 squad but, after a very impressive campaign at that level, the right-back has now been sent out on loan for further experience.

Swanson will spend the season in the Dutch second tier with MVV Maastricht, a club with whom Arsenal have good connections, with Kelechi Nwakali, amongst others, having previously spent time on loan there.

Previously a winger, Swanson has developed into a dependable right-back over the past couple of seasons and helped Arsenal U18s to win the southern section title in 2018-19 as he featured in numerous positions.

At times Swanson filled in at left-back, central midfield and even centre-back, giving a good account of himself wherever he played.

Although he is now mainly seen as a right-back, that versatility could prove to be particularly useful while he is out on loan. Jordi Osei-Tutu, for instance, put his previous experience as a winger to good use while at VfL Bochum, and Swanson could well find himself used in different positions for Maastricht depending on which other players are available.

The 19-year-old trained regularly with the Arsenal first-team in the closing weeks of the season and the experience of taking on the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will undoubtedly stand him in good stead for the challenges he will face in the future.

There were some suggestions that Swanson could stay at Arsenal and perhaps feature in the Europa League as a substitute but it is perhaps more beneficial for him to get regular game time elsewhere before returning to London Colney next summer ready to compete for a place in the squad.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Thanks Jeorge, insightful as ever. I think a lot of academy players will be in the europa league teams I can’t see big clubs risking their players in the current climate.


@Jeorge,whats happening with Jordi? Did he renew with Bochum?