Daily Star 2d
The focus of attention has been on the players in Arsenal’s first-team over the first few weeks of the season.
After an inconsistent start to the campaign, there has been some vocal criticism from fans and calls for changes to the starting XI.
Away from the Emirates, though, several loanees have been catching the eye as they look to eventually force their way into Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Here, we’ve taken a look at how those Arsenal players are faring at their respective clubs.
The 22-year-old defender has only managed one Bundesliga appearance since joining Stuttgart on loan.
A knee injury kept Mavropanos out for five weeks, but he is now back in training and will hope to feature regularly over the coming months.
“He annoyed me terribly, he is very complicated to manage,” said former Lorient manager Mickael Landreau of Guendouzi in a recent interview with Canal+.
Guendouzi’s attitude problems appeared to be the major factor in Arteta’s decision to drop him from the first-team, and he is now on loan at Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
The Frenchman has only made two appearances, but was one of the standout performers in a 3-0 win over Augsburg before the international break.
Another midfielder deemed surplus to requirements, Torreira joined Atletico Madrid in early October and has so far started just twice in La Liga.
The diminutive, combative midfielder, who this week tested positive for Covid-19, seems almost certain to leave the Gunners on a permanent basis when his loan comes to an end.
Another young defender hoping to make an impression away from Arsenal, Medley has so far made 14 appearances for League One side Gillingham.
And the 20-year-old has impressed, even if his team’s form under manager Steve Evans has been underwhelming.
Swanson is a highly-rated and versatile player, and a spell in the Dutch second tier should certainly prove beneficial to his development.
He has so far made only two starts for MVV Maastricht, playing both games as a right-back.
Like Medley, Coyle joined Gillingham on a season-long loan in August, and the 19-year-old winger has started well.
Though mostly used as a substitute, he has scored two goals in the Papa John’s Trophy, one of which came against his parent club Arsenal.
“We have seen flashes of that from Trae since he has come in but he is getting used to us now and what we want from him,” said Gillingham’s assistant manager Paul Raynor after that game.
“I thought he had a fantastic cameo performance and made a big difference on Saturday (in the FA Cup fightback against Woking) and he got his goal on Tuesday. He was involved in the play, he showed real pace and every time he got the ball he looked a threat. I am delighted with Trae.”
A gifted midfielder with a real eye for a pass, Smith has shown promise in the early stages of his loan spell with Swindon Town.
He has started every league game for the third-tier side, scoring twice and providing one assist, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he continues his impressive form throughout the season.
The 22-year-old full-back has seen his season hindered by hamstring problems, though he has managed six Championship appearances for Cardiff City.
Osei-Tutu started brightly, but he has not played since a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough late last month.
Sheaf was excellent on loan at Doncaster Rovers last season, earning a step up to the Championship with Coventry City this term.
It has proved more challenging for the 22-year-old midfielder, who has made 11 league appearances but finds himself in a struggling team.
However, the club’s head of recruitment, Chris Badlan, has backed the youngster.
“Ben Sheaf was one of the best performers in League One last season,” he said. “What he does is underestimated by a lot of people.
“Every football club needs those types of players who can do the dirty side and almost sacrifice themselves for the team because they know it’s going to get the better of others.
“But he’s also a fantastic footballer as well. He’s able to get on the ball and able to play, so we feel there’s a real transition from that side where we have got people in who we feel are going to allow the team to get better but also stick to the roots and philosophy that we’re playing.”
Striker John-Jules is currently sidelined with injury, but has opened his account for League One side Doncaster despite only having four appearances to his name.
The 19-year-old centre-back has become a more prominent figure at Ipswich Town in recent weeks, starting his side’s last three games.
This is McGuinness’ first experience of professional football, though, so it was always likely he would be eased into things.
Aside from an inexplicable red card in a 1-0 defeat against AFC Wimbledon, Ballard has done well at Blackpool.
The 21-year-old is also impressing on the international stage with Northern Ireland, and is probably amongst the most talented players in League One this season.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper is on loan at League One side Shrewsbury Town but has not featured since starting in a 1-0 defeat against Bristol Rovers last month.
League One seems to be the prime destination for Arsenal’s loanees. Left-back Bola is at Rochdale and has made six appearances, establishing himself as first choice in Brian Barry-Murphy’s back four.
The 19-year-old defender has featured regularly for League Two side Oldham Athletic, even the winning goal in a recent victory over Cheltenham Town.
It has been a dismal start to the season for Southend United, who are rooted to the bottom of the League Two table with just five points from 12 games.
Midfielder Olayinka has been one of their better performers, though it’s difficult to stand out in a team losing so regularly.
“We know if we stick to what the manager tells us then the results will come and we will start to climb up the table,” the 20-year-old said last month.
Goalkeeper Tom Smith is on loan with National League side Dover Athletic and has so far made three appearances.
He will hope his defenders up their game, though, given that he has let in a total of eight goals already.