Thursday, August 18, 2022

Coyle and Medley recalled; Arsenal loanees round-up

Arsenal have recalled Zech Medley and Trae Coyle from their loan spells at Gillingham, with the pair set to return to London Colney within the next 24 hours.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans told BBC Radio Kent that he expects Medley and Coyle to return to Arsenal despite both players having initially joined the League One club on loan for the season.

Medley featured prominently earlier in the campaign before an injury halted his progress, while Coyle has mainly been used as a substitute.

It is expected that both players could be loaned out again shortly, with Arsenal eager for them to gain further experience of senior football.

Arsenal will also soon have to make decisions on several other youngsters who see their loan spells expire this month.

Harry Clarke’s spell at Oldham Athletic is likely to be extended, with the centre-back having made 14 appearances in League Two, during which he has often impressed.

James Olayinka, meanwhile, has caught the eye in a struggling Southend United side. The midfielder has often been the driving force for his temporary team, and they will be eager to keep him.

Goalkeeper Tom Smith is second choice for non-league side Dover Athletic, who have seen many of their recent games called off.

Another shot-stopper, Deyan Iliev, has barely featured on loan at Shrewsbury Town and is likely to return to Arsenal. Iliev, who will turn 26 next month, has continued to endure much misfortune with injuries.

Another player who has struggled on the injury front is Jordi Osei-Tutu, who is on loan at Cardiff City. The right-back hasn’t played since October but it is anticipated that he will be back in action soon. He is on loan at Cardiff for the rest of the campaign.

The following players are also on season-long loans. Matt Smith has often excelled in midfield for Swindon Town – he has two goals and three assists, while he has created plenty of chances.

Ben Sheaf, one of Arsenal’s more experienced youngsters, is on loan at Coventry and is nearing a permanent switch to the Championship side, who have to buy the midfielder if he makes a certain amount of appearances.

Mark McGuinness is relishing the challenge on loan at Ipswich Town, although his temporary side haven’t played much recently with many games being postponed due to concerns over coronavirus.

Daniel Ballard, meanwhile, has been a regular in the Blackpool side of late, with his loan spell having recently been extended until the end of the season.

Finally, Tyreece John-Jules is back from injury and has done well for Doncaster Rovers recently – he will be looking to add to his tally of three goals in ten League One appearances.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Really appreciate such updates about our players/youngsters on loan, thank you.

Johnny 4 Hats

Am I being really dumb or has there not been a CB from our academy break through to the senior side since George Graham?

I feel like I must be forgetting someone. But, come to think of it, most other big clubs don’t have homegrown CB’s. Maybe it’s a position that doesn’t lend itself to youthful inexperience and players need to go away to cut their teeth before heading to big clubs.

I had really high hopes for Medley but it’s not looking too great right now.


Only ones I can think of are djourou and Alex song (he started at cb anyway) but yeah I would imagine the average age of cb is much higher than most positions at the top of the game.


Don’t forget Havard Nordtveit, Kyle Bartley, Bielik CDM congverted to CB those are the once I can think off at the top of my head there’s probably a few more. But I think only Djourou and Song actually made it at arsenal


Good spot… I guess centre-backs are a unique position in terms of how clubs go about developing players because on one hand you have goalies, who are a unique thing of their own, where its somewhat easier to spot a special talent, and on the other you have offensively gifted players, yet if you look at where on the field those play once they become professionals, it’s everywhere aside from the goalie position and the centre-back position, because pretty much most of the right-backs and left-backs are wingers shifted further back in the field later on in their development phase…… Read more »


They are unique in a sense, where you really know who you have at hand when they are around 23-24. Before that, you can’t be really sure. It is clear that big clubs don’t develop their own CBs, because if they make a mistake, it usually leads to a goal and everyone will be fuming about them. People who say they are patient will have enough after 3 games and will scream at them, that they are not good enough. With strikers, you always have the service excuse. And you have seen what it does to a club, when they… Read more »


Philippe Senderos had a run until we learned that Didier Droba was his daddy. Repeatedly. Does Kolo Toure count? How about Matthew Upson?


And even those three came in to Arsenal as youngsters but not in the youth setup Arsenalnut.


upson yes, and djourou was in the youth system for quite a while before he broke through. i remember ignasi miquel looking promising but it never happened for him.


Justin Hoyte played a few games at centre back under Wenger if I recall. He came right through our academy from schoolboy.


Excited to see who the next academy player will make the breakthrough. On a separate note what is happening with Iliev? I can’t understand what the plan is to have a keeper for nearly ten years and seem to have no plan for him

Teryima Adi

A goalkeeper’s world is indeed strange.


He did not really feature at Shrewsbury and was bit unlucky with injury. Sadly he had a few poor performances which saw him relegated to third choice. Hard to see him getting anywhere near the first team at Arsenal, and maybe needs a permanent move away to a club in the lower divisions.

Teryima Adi

Great job, Jeorge. Thanks for the updates on the kids.


Any info on Tolaji Bola, Jeorge? How is it academy left-back getting on at Rochdale?


Let’s hope he can do better at Arsenal!

Johnny 4 Hats

Well you know the old saying…

Fail at Rochdale, succeed at Arsenal.


Medley’s a real talent. Big, strong, good distribution and good pace for a CB. Expected to see more of him in the lesser competitions till he got loaned.

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