Thursday, September 28, 2023

Swanson and Olayinka among youngsters in need of loan spells

Arsenal already have 17 players out on loan, and that number could be added to during the January transfer window.

One player who is certainly in need of a temporary transfer is Zak Swanson. The 21-year-old had a hugely frustrating spell at MVV Maastricht last season which was heavily affected by injury and ended with him making just three league appearances.

Swanson has plenty of experience at U23 level and is a versatile player. Previously a winger, he switched to right-back but has also been used at centre-back and in midfield.

A loan move to a club in League One or League Two is what Swanson needs at this stage of his development.

Another player in a similar situation to Swanson is James Olayinka. The midfielder has previously been on loan at Northampton Town and Southend United, featuring prominently for the latter.

Although he has been on the bench for the first-team and scored a superb goal in a friendly against Colorado Rapids in 2019, Olayinka isn’t particularly close to the senior setup at present.

At the age of 21, the midfielder needs to be playing senior football of some description, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he is among the players to to make a temporary departure in January.

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

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I wonder why the notion of a “B” team (similar with what we have in Spain) never developed in England? B teams occupy essentially the third or fourth tier of Spanish football and are part of a very competitive league.

Johnny 4 Hats

We’ve got one.

They are called Tottenham.


They’re more of a Number Two team than a B team.


I think its a bit weird to have a whole second team competing in the same league pyramid, but with players that are interchangeable with the first team…


Although it’d be hugely beneficial for younger players at big clubs it’s a very one-sided point of view and i can totally see why it doesn’t happen. For every ‘B’ team in League 1 or 2 that’s one fewer place for another actual club.

If you think about it’s massively unfair that Carlisle/Scunthorpe/Barnet etc would lose out because Arsenal/Liverpool/Man Utd etc want their youth teams to play against senior teams.


12 months ago an Arsenal U23 squad shorn of most of its best players, who were out on loan, and in the midst of an injury crisis almost got relegated.
Steve Bould took most of the flak.
It’s noticeable that an injury hit U23 squad this season has just conceded 7 goals in two games despite a change in tactics by the new coach.
Is it really the time to weaken this squad too much at this time based on last seasons experience?

Nwobodo Fortune

Yes. Because players development trumps the U-23 league finish.
We shouldn’t allow those players rot just so we finish one or two places higher on the Reserve team table.

Never Happen

Thanks as always Jeorge, as you say they need first team football somewhere

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