Sunday, August 14, 2022

Bola joins Rochdale on loan

Arsenal have confirmed that defender Tolaji Bola has joined Rochdale on loan until the end of January.

The 21-year-old moves to the League One side to gain more experience of senior football having played regularly at under-23 level for the Gunners.

Speaking to the Rochdale website, Bola said: “I’m pleased to be here and can’t wait to get going.

“There has been talks for a couple of weeks and I’m just happy it got over the line and I can start the hard work.

“I’ve spoken a lot with [manager] Brian Barry-Murphy and the coaching staff. It’s really good to hear his ideas and I think we can have a successful season this year.”

The window to do business with clubs in the EFL remains open for another week but to date we’ve sanctioned loan deals for 11 players from the Academy. That really is a big number and seems to mark a change in policy by the club under Per Mertesacker and loan manager Ben Knapper.

Here’s where we stand at the moment. Apologies if we’ve missed anyone off the list, no doubt Jeorge will slap our wrists.

Player Club
Jordi Osei-Tutu Cardiff City
Zech Medley Gillingham
Zak Swanson MVV Maastricht
Ben Sheaf Coventry City
Matt Smith Swindon Town
Trae Coyle Gillingham
Tyreece John-Jules Doncaster Rovers
Mark McGuinness Ipswich Town
Daniel Ballard Blackpool Town
Tolaji Bola Rochdale
Joseph Olowu Cork City

Deyan Iliev, 25, went on loan to Shrewsbury Town yesterday and three members of the first team squad, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Dinos Mavropanos, are now at Hertha Berlin, Atletico Madrid and Stuttgart respectively.

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Crash Fistfight

I wonder what the sum total of the loan fees and wages off the books is for all of the academy players on the list? Maybe £100k per loan and £100k per wage? That would be about £2m total on those conservative estimates.


£200k invested in a loan seems way too high high for a lot of the EFL clubs. For the lower leagues £50k maybe? Cardiff and Ipswich might be splashing more cash

David Hillier's luggage

I suspect the club are playing the wages and waived any loan fees for the vast majority on the list. The aim of sending the likes of say John-Jules, Coyle or Smith is to gain playing time at clubs suited to them. Realistically, you would only expect Osei-Tutu and Sheaf to have their wages covered given their age, experience and contract length at Arsenal (might even be option to buy for both?). Either way, I doubt either are on more than 10k a week (more likely nearer half that), so we’re only talking £600k-1m off the books now, maybe less.… Read more »

Bai Blagoi

I hope we can fix a loan for Sokratis in the Championship till January. It will be better for him than being not played at all.


I doubt sok will drop to the championship. Its only 2 1/2 months to Jan so think he’ll either wait or we’ll cancel his contract so he can move on a free

Vaibhav Pandey

Don’t think he will accept demotion to a lower league. He will stay with us and keep on training than going to championship. Another aspect is of personal life and he wouldn’t want to jeopardies that for a 3 month loan!

Bai Blagoi

Good point.


I hear the ticking of the clock
I’m glued to sky sports, the news is dark
I wonder where edu is tonight
No answer on the telephone
Transfer deadline night goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won’t end though
A Loan
‘Til now we always got by on our youth team
I never really counted salaries til stan kroenke
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you a loan
How do I get you a loan

Arteta-tinted Glasses

This is great. If at least 2-3 turn out to be an Iwobi or a Wilshere, we make money or we get squad depth. This is the way to go.


I hope this works out well for Tolaji, who had been with the club through the various youth ranks. He has the right mental and physical attributes to succeed, although his progression stagnated a bit after being overlooked for the England U21 team after making the U17 and U18 teams.

I think that with the experience gained from a successful loan spell, Bola would be a very capable replacement for Kolasinac in terms of our squad depth (with the advantage that he is homegrown).

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