Arsenal Transfer News: 10 Players Who Require a Loan Spell This Season
The 2011/2012 English Premier League season is less than a week away and the excitement is intensifying as the upcoming campaign is destined to be more thrilling, passionate, tense and exciting than the previous.
With most teams enjoying an active summer transfer window—which still has three weeks remaining— particularly due to the increased influence of rich investors, the equality between teams has dwindled.
One team that will be eager to make a quick impression after a dismal conclusion to 2010/2011 is Arsenal. The Gunners enter the new season with the lingering burden of six successive seasons without silverware and with the certain departure of captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona alongside little transfer activity from manager Arsene Wenger, few view the North London giants as genuine title challengers.
However, one can never properly write off the Gunners—particularly with Wenger at the helm. Fans will be hoping the Frenchman implements quality defensive and midfield signings in the coming weeks as Arsenal are faced with a tough opening month of the English Premier League.
Wenger is also expected to finalize his routine loan spells for his exciting array of promising youngsters. A renowned developer of young talent, most of the Arsenal tacticians young guns have thrived and grown immensely on loan spells to lower league sides.
Each campaign, a large amount of youngsters depart on loan in order to gain first team experience and showcase their worth to other clubs. This season will be no different with young goalkeeper James Shea currently on a season long loan with Dagenham and Redbridge in league two, Spanish utility Pedro Botelho with La Liga newcomers Rayo Vallecano and promising defender Kyle Bartley with Scottish champions Rangers.
Bolivian ace Samuel Galindo is also on a season long loan with Gimnastic de Tarragona in the Spanish Segunda whilst Frenchman Francis Coquelin is expected to sign with Lorient FC on loan again, after the U-20 World Cup.
Here are the top ten Gunners who require a loan spell in 2011/2012. Take a look.
10. Nicholas Yennaris
The highly rated and touted defender has been impressive in the Arsenal reserves and academy in recent seasons despite intervening injuries. Fully fit and firing, the Englishman is a sufficient candidate to experience a stint in League One or Two.
A tenacious and tough defender who possess adequate versatility, he is comfortable in both the midfield and back line. Yennaris is still young and developing and a promising spell during 2011/2012 could drastically increase his Arsenal first team chances.
9. Sead Hajrovic
The Swiss youngster has notably excelled in recent months, progressing from the Arsenal U-18's to become a regular in the reserves and even donning the captain's armband at one stage. A versatile and commanding defender, the 18-year-old arrived in 2009 from Swiss outfit Grasshoppers Zurich and is now highly rated by Arsenal sources and is expected to have a big season in 2011/2012.
Many were impressed with Hajrovic's development and ability last season and a short stint in the English lower leagues could be on the cards. The Swiss has captained his country at U-17's level, in which the Schweizer Nati won the World Cup, alongside currently possessing the U-18 arm band.
Certainly one for the future, Hajrovic is one to watch in 2011/2012.
8. Oguzhan Ozyakup
The Dutch teenager has become a stalwart in the Arsenal reserves, boasting some impressive displays at the heart of the midfield. Secured from Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar, the 18-year-old is highly rated by the Gunners and encountered contract disputes last season as a number of clubs—including PSV Eindhoven and Paris Saint-Germain—were vying for the Dutchman's signature.
Ozyakup has expressed his desire to experience a loan spell since he currently possesses no professional first team experience. A technically gifted, intelligent and composed play maker, insiders believe the teenager has the ability to become an Arsenal first team player and a loan spell in the championship would be more than beneficial.
7. Luke Freeman
The young striker made his debut for Gillingham in 2007 at the age of 15 before joining Arsenal as a 17-year-old in 2009. A clinical, efficient striker, Freeman has been an impressive force in both the Arsenal youth and reserve squads, netting 16 times in 24 appearances for the U-18's during his first season.
Last season the 19-year-old gained tremendous experience whilst on a short term loan with League One Yeovil Town, Freeman amassed 15 appearances and two goals before injury subsided his impact. The striker has shown his ability and is now ready to experience a long term loan in order to enhance his evident potential.
A highly promising and touted teenager, Freeman has the maturity and calibre to thrive with the physicality of England's second division.
6. Gilles Sunu
The imposing French striker is currently impressing France at the U-20 World Cup, scoring two goals as the European giants progress to the round of 16, thus avoiding Arsenal's preseason campaign. The 20-year-old has developed rapidly in recent seasons since arriving from Chateauroux in 2007 and played a sterling role in the Arsenal youth's notorious FA Youth Cup and Premier League Academy double.
A strong and quick forward, Sunu made his debut for Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League in 2009/2010 before impressing with nine games and one goal for Derby County later in the same season. Last season Sunu experienced an additional nine games for French Ligue One outfit.
Les Merlus are now eager to acquire the striker on a season long loan and the opportunity is destined to enhance the youngster's promising ability which in turn could result in a place in the Arsenal first team as forward opportunities continue to arise.
5. Ignasi Miquel
The young defender emerged on the scene last season following the surprise departure of talented young centre half Havard Nordtveit. The Spaniard—who had been named the reserve captain in 2010/2011—concluded the season with two FA Cup appearances, conveying much promise.
The former Barcelona youth is expected to become a strong part of the Arsenal first team in the coming years and the 18-year-old has been linked with a number of moves away on loan this summer. Miquel is a composed, tough and quick defender who has the ability to experience a loan spell in the English Premier League or Spanish La Liga.
Provided Arsene Wenger secures the signature of a quality centre half in the coming weeks, it would be beneficial for the youngster to be sent on loan.
4. Benik Afobe
Benik Afobe boasts 40 goals for the U-16s in 2007–08, 11 goals in 13 appearances in 2008–09 and 21 goals in 24 appearances for Arsenal U-18 in 2009–10.
The young striker has developed at a rapid rate to emerge as one of the most promising teenager forwards in England. Targeted by European kings Barcelona, Afobe was secured permanently by Arsenal in 2010 and last season began to excel.
The 18-year-old spent a large amount of the campaign on loan in League One with Huddersfield as the Terriers narrowly missed out on promotion. Strong, quick and clinical, Afobe amassed 32 appearances, eight goals and 10 assists in a stellar stint.
The Englishman has further impressed in the current preseason with Wenger praising the young gun's efforts. First team chances however do appear somewhat limited with a compacted Arsenal forward line but a spell in the Championship or even Premier League may occur.
3. Ryo Miyaichi
The Japanese dynamo has acquired a sterling reputation since signing with the Gunners in January. A successful loan spell of 12 appearances and three goals for Dutch giants Feyenoord resulted in nicknames such as 'Ryodinho' and the 'Japanese Messi' due to emphatic displays of speed and balance on the wing.
Drawing comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo, Miyaichi is said to eclipse Theo Walcott as the fastest Arsenal player and with the Japan star enjoying a strong preseason, Arsenal fans are excited about the new gem Wenger has unearthed.
However, there are work permit problems still to be resolved regarding Miyaichi playing in the Premier League this season. Regardless, Feyenoord has inquired about once again taking the 18-year-old on a full season loan.
Although chances are not hugely limited to Miyaichi, another spell in the Dutch Eredivisie would be a superb opportunity for the Japanese winger.
2. Vito Mannone
The Italian shot stopper is a promising young keeper who is capable of successfully fulfilling the Gunners' number one role.
However, the presences of Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski will restrict the 23-year-old to making an impact in 2011/2012, unless drastic injuries or form woes occur.
Mannone will thrive with either a Premier League or Serie A loan spell. Arsenal fans are well aware of the Italian's ability after a heroic and historic display against Fulham during 2009/2010—a campaign where Mannone boasted eight Arsenal appearances.
Injuries tainted the former Atlanta keeper's last season. However, Mannone did manage to impress with ten appearances for Championship side Hull City. The Italian has the ability, it is now just a case of finding the opportunity.
1. Sebastien Squillaci
Sebastien Squillaci is not a youngster aspiring to gain first team experience. The 30-year-old is simply no longer capable of handling the intense pace and physicality of the Premier League and a loan spell to Ligue 1 appears to be a beneficial transfer—both for Arsenal and the former Sevilla defender.
After an unimpressive debut Arsenal season in 2010/2011—followed by a poor preseason—fans are dreading Squillaci presence in the Arsenal starting 11. It appears that every time the France international wears the Red and White, Arsenal does not succeed.
The "cursed" number 18 shirt at Arsenal—which appears to only be worn by struggling defenders—requires a loan spell in 2011/2012.