The majority of Arsenal’s loanees this season have received plenty of playing time, but that wasn’t the case for Zak Swanson.
Arsenal elected to recall the right-back this week after he made just three appearances while on loan at Dutch second division side MVV Maastricht.
Last season was hugely successful for Swanson, who was one of the standout performers for the U23s before training regularly with the first-team when the campaign restarted.
This time around, however, he has endured much frustration and has also been homesick after living away from England for the first time.
Arsenal still have much faith in the 20-year-old and are reportedly looking to tie him to a new contract that will run until the summer of 2024.
Swanson is now back at Arsenal and could play for the U23s this month but it is anticipated that he will be sent out on loan again in January, perhaps to an English club this time.
Heading to Holland seemed a rather unusual step for Swanson but he will still be able to learn from the experience.
The situation regarding young right-backs at Arsenal is an intriguing one as there are now quite a few players coming through in that position.
As well as the comparatively experienced Jordi Osei-Tutu, who is currently on loan at Cardiff City, Arsenal have the likes of Ryan Alebiosu, Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Daniel Oyegoke, who have all featured for the U23s this season, while they recently brought in an U16 player in Reuell Walters, who was previously at Manchester United and Tottenham.
If he heads out on loan again Swanson will be especially determined to prove that he can make an impact in senior football and he will look to move on from his spell at Maastricht as quickly as possible.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
So the question arises if Arsenal have a number of promising RBs why an injured 29 year old Southampton reject was given a 4 year contract. Hardly a sign of forward planning more a case of doing an agent acquaintance a favour.
What if Bellerin had had a 29 year old blocking his path to the 1st team when Debuchy got injured?
Yes, it’s odd isn’t it. Hopefully, as money becomes even tighter (we’ll see how bad the latest financial figures are later this month) we’ll try to give the youngsters more opportunities before jumping in and signing (much) older players on generous contracts – and there have been a few of those recently.
It was mafia operation when someone was leading the recruitments in not so long ago!