Arteta: I’m keeping a close eye on loan players

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Mikel Arteta says he’s keeping a close eye on Arsenal’s loanees ahead of big decisions in the summer about their futures.

Seven members of the Spaniard’s senior squad are playing their football elsewhere until the end of the season and a further 10 from the Academy are doing the same.

Given the state of the club’s finances and the eagerness to continue with an overhaul of the playing staff, it’s possible that several could depart.

Sead Kolasinac seems destined to leave when his contract runs out in July and big question marks remain over the futures of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Dinos Mavropanos, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

There’s also William Saliba, a player who has yet to make his competitive Arsenal debut, who appears to be doing pretty well at Nice who he joined in January.

Asked about the Frenchman’s progress, the boss chose to speak in more general terms: “We’re having meetings very often to assess what they’re doing and obviously we’re getting all the information and watching their games because I want to keep a very close eye on what they’re doing.

“We were talking yesterday for example with Ben Knapper, who is our loan manager, who is in charge of monitoring everything we are doing, and we are in contact with the players. Let’s see.

“It’s good news that they are playing and it’s good news that they have the possibility to have a lot of minutes because that’s going to give us a much better perception of where they are and how we can use them.”

Arteta also hasn’t given up on persuading Folarin Balogun to stay at Arsenal. The 19-year-old striker has been offered a new contract but has so far turned down the terms. There’s talk he’s held clubs with a number of foreign suitors and will be able to join whoever he wants on a free in four months time.

Throughout the last few months, the boss has sounded cautiously optimistic about the situation and he’s not changing his tune just yet.

Asked if the player was distancing himself from the club – a question sparked by the player’s decision to delete all the content from his Instagram account – he said: “I wouldn’t say so. I think I am pretty positive about it and every time I spoke to him, he mentions the same thing, that he’s determined to stay here and he wants to stay here.

“He has some really positive conversations with his agent as well and Edu is in charge of that. He’s been spending a lot of time and energy to make that deal happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house, and what we can guarantee is that we’re doing everything we can to keep him.”

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Johnny 4 Hats

I personally would’ve liked a word from Arteta specifically about Saliba. It’s clearly one the fans are worried about and it wouldn’t have done any harm to say how excited he is by Saliba’s form and how much he is looking forward to coaching him next season.

Might have been nice for Saliba to hear that too as apposed to being lumped in with a generic answer about all loan players.

Takeshita

I think all we should care is can Saliba come back and make a mark at Arsenal? SALIBA tried to burn the bridges possibly out of frustration ( most teenagers do) and I feel that Arteta probably didn’t mind it too much.( Arteta and Edu did screw up and handled the situation badly make no mistake on that one. ) However, now he should focus on his loan spell, and we fans should create a conducive atmosphere for a positive outcome after all the mistakes & non sense from both the parties. It would be crazy for us fans to… Read more »

Biggles

Yes, you’re right about Saliba. He does seem to be doing well on loan which is good news. Unfortunately, the bad news is that his relationship with Arsenal appears to be very strained now. If that continues I wouldn’t be that surprised if he wanted to make a permanent move come the summer and there would probably be no shortage of offers if he did. In the circumstances, some additional (and specific) words of support from MA wouldn’t have cost him anything and surely wouldn’t have done any harm at this stage.

karl

I thought things were more strained when he was at Arsenal with nothing to do. At least he is playing regular first team football now and his state of mind must be improved.

Biggles

Hopefully. However, I read comments by him (on this site, I think) that suggested he wasn’t too happy with how he had been treated by Arsenal since joining them. Whether that translates into anything come the summer we’ll have to wait and see. Being happy at one club doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be happy returning to a different one though. I hope he does, but it’s not certain.

Giuseppe Hovno

love to hear Saliba is getting in the comments on arseblog news

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Not sure he helped his own state of mind, being in an abject video circulated on social media.

Vaibhav

Feels like Balogun is slipping away

Giuseppe Hovno

If he goes, he goes. We’ll be fine

Biggles

I really hope not as he’s the kind of young talent we need. However, I think that he’s probably decided to leave.

Amacranian

He is better than Nketiah

Biggles

That’s why we should try very hard (within reason, obviously) to keep him, isn’t it.

karl

It will be a shame, but it is easy to get fixated about a young player running out of contract. We saw so little of hi in the first team, that I’m not convinced Arteta is that bothered.

Biggles

Yes, but surely in that case we should see a little more of him before coming to any definite conclusion. He is a talented young player and I’d prefer to keep such players at the club but we won’t know one way or another unless he’s given a chance. You may be right in saying that Arteta isn’t that bothered, but I would hope he’s taken a little more interest than that.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

But how much reliable Arteta is, assessing young players compared to Wenger for example? Martinelli came back, got praised by fans and pundits. He was removed at half time in a game and no more minutes. The return from injury, just that was interrupted. The boy was playing Samba football but Arteta prefers sideway passes probably because it fits more his system. Don’t shoot, send the ball back and try what I told you again.

TomH

The fact he has not organised a move already suggests to me that things are on hold and no one is moving because Eddie’s situation is unresolved.
If Balogun was leaving for sure, he could have easily organised a move by now (unless he has a serious preference of staying in UK). 2 Months and no move confirmed. I think we can hold our breath on this one.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Arteta talks about offers on the table but the boy wants to be around the first team. We all think young Balogun wants big money too soon but he wants a chance instead. Arteta made it clear Nketiah was above of him. If that was based on football, it could be understandable but Arteta said they need to treat Nketiah decently.

Public Elneny

Isn’t Kola contracted until 2022? I hope not, no one will take him off our hands after Schalke’s player revolt

StockholmGooner

Maybe Schalke will.

Public Elneny

Maybe, depends how the higher ups who remain view it, and whether he’d be ok with playing in the 2nd tier

In a way it was quite a selfless act by Kola. Shalke are a club he clearly cares about, and they were being run into oblivion by a bunch of ubermorons. It definitely won’t help him get his career back on track, but it might be a turning point for Schalke. It’s totally different to eg Chelsea players turning on a perfectly competent manager because they found training a bit hard or something

A Different George

If the stories are true, you are completely correct–a manager who spoke to regular players in the wrong language (ie, he didn’t remember who they were)!!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Correct, he signed a 5 year contract in 2017 – which is better for us because it means we can get cash for him.
No idea what his value is in this current market – at least £5 million perhaps.

Public Elneny

Balogun seems like a fool, or at least very badly guided. With Nketiah hitting a wall, Lacazette likely to be sold this summer, and Auba’s style often not being effective at CF vs a lot of PL clubs, he has a huge opportunity to stake his claim here. It’s likely he would have gotten that chance already if he was committed If he can’t see that, or he’d rather hold out for the highest financial offer wherever it may come from, well that’s on him and his agent In a way losing talented young players is a mark of an… Read more »

Dave

Was with you til the last part

TomH

Perhaps he can see that and thats exactly why he has not already organised a move..? He could have done so at any time over the past two months. Still nothing confirmed.

Biggles

We don’t know what’s happening with him but there’s certainly no positive news which suggests there is a problem. As he is a talent (and I think almost everyone would acknowledge that) I can’t see the logic in not giving him chances to show what he can/can’t do. If he does well, who knows it may encourage him to stay, if he flops we’ll have some evidence at least. At present it seems that he could leave without anyone really knowing one way or another, which strikes me as daft. Your point about losing talented players being a sign that… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Plus we never developed a CF in our academy good enough for the first team. It never happened. We had Owosu, Akpom etc.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Who?

Hank Scorpio

I’d be surprised if any of the players on loan are with us next season unless we have no takers or we ask too much. Hope I’m wrong about Saliba in particular. I suspect Balogun is gone too. Could be a busy summer I suspect. Hopefully whatever the squad looks like we’re stronger than what we have now.

Scwibble

The way the season started with AMN was perfect, winning community shield and getting the call up to England, I thought he was finally going to get his chance but unfortunately not been the case. Fast forward to now and he’s shipped out on loan at an age where you’d think he’d be an established arsenal player given the way he came up from the academy and history etc. As for Saliba, we’ve wasted two years of his contract with us you could say because he’ll probably come back next season and will be behind Mari, Rob and Gab. Joe… Read more »

TeeCee

It’s not who Saliba is behind when he comes back, it’s if he *stays* behind them that’s important.
If, in training, he can’t convince the manager that he’s the better choice, we don’t need him. It’s that simple.

The Beast

Yeah, I find the ‘controversy’ surrounding the Saliba situation a bit strange. He seems disappointed about the way it’s been handled but, based on our defensive record this season, it was probably the right move. The back line looks settled and for the first time in ages I dont get palpitations when we suffer injuries as I trust whoever steps in to do a job. Not in a million years did I imagine only City & Chelsea conceding less than us at this point in the season. If he would’ve stayed, I dont imagine he would’ve got much playing time… Read more »

Moses

Saka, EMR, Martinelli all involved. It seems AMN wants to play midfield, that is his right, but it is also reasonable if it was made clear that his future at Arsenal was as RB, thus there may have been no doings here. Seems like Balogun has the opportunity if he commits Willock and Nketiah given plenty of opportunity. Saliba handled wrongly but hopefully now being handled correctly Nelson – an inigma this one. Surely not right for him to be where he is. Either more chances or loan. Where the fault lies, I cannot say. Luiz and Cedric have actually… Read more »

Goonerink

Clearly haven’t watched him at WBA. He is one of their key players! He will play every minute of the rest of the season injury permitting. This loan is invaluable to him.

Scwibble

Things were going well for AMN at the beginning of season, great performance against Liverpool and an England call up, thought he’d finally get his chance. Fast forward to now and he’s loaned out at an age where you’d think he’d be an established arsenal player given he came from academy and his development etc. As for Saliba, we can say we have wasted two years of his career and the contract he’s got with us, he’ll probably come back next season and be behind Mari, Rob and Gab. Willock hasn’t impressed but is doing well at Newcastle (should have… Read more »

ilikecheese

we keep buying average or over the hill players to fll our squad when these places should be taken by the young players.

Biff

Mavropanos seems to be doing quite well recently. Started the last five games for Stuttgart, resulting in three wins and a draw. Let’s hope for his sake that he avoids injuries in the coming months (and years).

Graham

His stats (not everything i know but still…) are excellent. He has developed into a proper duel-winning defender similar to sokratis I guess. Pair him with a ball player and I think he could be a really solid option. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a nod ahead of Saliba (who despite his physical prescence doesn’t always do too well in duels

AlexNuggz

Dinos Mavropanos is quietly going about his business under the radar, especially with the focus on Saliba, hopefully he could be a real option for us next season with alot more experience and minutes under his belt. Although, we are overstocked in that area, so chances are they could cash in whilst his value is higher. We’ll see.

Monty Sop

Saliba will be loaned out again next season with a view to the market improving so that he can be sold.

He is not considered to be good enough.

Santori

Agree with Andrew Allen’s assessment on the squad today.We need to mint some money in order to bring in players. Lack of CL footy (and potentially Europa) will add issues. Players listed need to likely be moved on or may not be renewed : 1) Luiz – I don’t think Arteta should be relying on him as a crutch. We have 3 promising Cbacks (who will make their mistakes) but who need to crank on now with as much playing time together to develop some mutual level of understanding – Mari/Holding/Gabriel. add likely Saliba in the mix. 2) Bellerin –… Read more »

Santori

I hope he keeps Saliba bc I believe the Cback has similar issues as Guendouzi.

BOTH players may prefer to ply trade elsewhere and make it difficult for Arteta.

On his part he has not been able to manage them thus far.

It may be he keeps Luiz instead and sells on Saliba.

This club is on the brink.

There are far too many holes in squad to fill and we are not in a good position without Europe.

MojoWillneny

Saliba’s played well in all 12 of his matches for Nice. He’s already one of the first names on their team sheet every week. He was excellent in midweek. Someone explain to me how this kid wasn’t at least good enough for Europa League and some rotation in the Premier League. Arteta’s building a promising team from the rubble of the last several years at the club, but his handling of Saliba still feels like a rookie mistake.