Progress Report on Coquelin, Campbell and the Arsenal Loanees

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2014

Progress Report on Coquelin, Campbell and the Arsenal Loanees

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    The loan system is an important part of Arsenal's squad-building strategy. It enables young players to accumulate experience and squad players to get some important playing time.

    At this moment in time, the Gunners have a whole host of players picking up minutes all over Europe.

    In this piece, we take a look at how Arsenal's loan rangers are faring in 2013-14 and consider whether or not they might have a future with the Gunners.

Ignasi Miquel, Leicester City

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    Spanish central defender Ignasi Miquel has not managed to establish himself as a first-choice player at Leicester City. However, he could end the season with a Championship winners medal: His temporary club are currently clear at the top of the second tier table.

    Miquel has made 11 appearances to date. With Arsenal still very light at centre-half, he could be considered for a place in Arsene Wenger's squad next season.

Damian Martinez, Sheffield Wednesday

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    Damian Martinez has gained vital experience in the Sheffield Wednesday goal. The Argentine stopper has made 12 appearances this season, eight of which have come in the Championship.

    With Lukasz Fabianski and Emiliano Viviano both set to leave Arsenal this summer, Martinez could find a place in Arsene Wenger's squad awaiting him upon his return.

Chuks Aneke, Crewe Alexandra

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    Chuks Aneke is a powerful and creative midfielder in the "Yaya Toure" mould. He has been a regular for Crewe this season, and he is the club's top goalscorer with 13 goals in all competitions.

    Aneke will turn 21 this summer. One suspects if he was going to make the breakthrough with Arsenal, he would have been handed more senior opportunities before now. He may have to make a permanent move in order to further his career.

Johan Djourou, Hamburg

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    Johan Djourou has spent each of the past two seasons on loan in the Bundesliga. This campaign, he has been with Hamburg, making 16 league appearances for the German side.

    According to Michael Morgan of The Mirror, Hull boss Steve Bruce is eyeing up a possible permanent move for the Swiss centre-half. That would be a good move for Djourou, whose time as an Arsenal player is surely approaching its end.

Francis Coquelin, Freiburg

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    Francis Coquelin was once the bright young thing of the Arsenal midfield. This season, he has been a utility man for relegation-threatened Bundesliga side Freiburg.

    Coquelin has been used on both flanks as well as in the centre of midfield, but he has been unable to nail down a regular place. Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes and Freiburg captain Julian Schuster are regularly used in the middle of the park, relegating Coquelin to the role of substitute.

    Staying at Freiburg looks unlikely. Coquelin may be looking for another move come the summer.

Joel Campbell, Olympiacos

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    Joel Campbell has been the most successful of all Arsenal's loan players. He has become a regular at Olympiacos, playing Champions League football in the process. His superb goal in the home match with Manchester United was the latest indication of his enormous potential.

    This summer he will compete against England in the World Cup. His international caps have ensured he now qualifies for a work permit that would allow him to compete in the Premier League.

    However, doubts remain over whether or not Arsene Wenger will elect to use him in the Arsenal squad. He was eligible for this season too, but he was still sent out on loan. Come August, we'll know whether or not his performances in Greece and Brazil have done enough to earn him a place in Wenger's plans.

Wellington, Murcia

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    As a teenager, Brazilian striker Wellington was extremely well thought of. However, he has failed to convert his potential in to tangible results.

    This season he has been on loan with Murcia in the Spanish second division. Almost all of his appearances have come as a substitute. Given that, it seems hugely unlikely that he will have done enough to earn an opportunity at Arsenal.

Benik Afobe, Sheffield Wednesday

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    Benik Afobe's career has been dogged by injuries. At the moment, he is on loan at Sheffield Wednesday along with Damian Martinez. Afobe has not been with Wednesday long, and he has struggled to hold down a regular place in the first-team.

    It feels as if Afobe's time with Arsenal may be up. In order to progress, he needs regular football. A permanent move may be required this summer.

Chuba Akpom, Coventry City

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    Chuba Akpom played an active role in Arsenal's preseason, playing and scoring in several friendly matches. He even made his Premier League debut away to Sunderland.

    At the moment, he is on loan with Coventry City. This follows an unsuccessful spell at Brentford, where he was afforded hardly any playing time. At Coventry, the situation is different: he is playing regularly and gaining invaluable experience.

    The emergence of Yaya Sanogo may limit first-team opportunities for Akpom next season. The next step might be a loan to a Championship side.

Park Chu-Young, Watford

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    Park Chu-Young moved to Watford in order to get some playing time under his belt ahead of the World Cup.

    Worryingly for Park, he can't even make the first team at Watford. He will have to hope that some good performances at the World Cup can earn him a move when his Arsenal contract expires this summer.