The first international break of the 2021/22 season has come at the perfect time for Arsenal.
Bottom of the Premier League table (don’t look at who is currently top) following three straight defeats against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City, things couldn’t have gone worse for Mikel Arteta and Edu.
As a result, their transfer decisions so far this summer are beginning to garner greater attention from supporters, as despite spending over £100m on five new players, only Martin Odegaard started at the weekend.
With transfer deadline day fast approaching, time is running out for Arteta and Edu to complete their expected squad overhaul as unlike in previous years, there has not been a host of permanent outgoings at the Emirates Stadium.
In fact, Joe Willock remains the only high-profile sale as David Luiz departed on a free when his contract expired at the end of June.
Although, many players have been loaned out to either further their first-team development, to get regular game time under their belts, or to put themselves in the shop window for potential suitors ahead of next summer’s transfer window.
From those who don’t seem to have a long-term future at Arsenal such as Matteo Guendouzi and Konstantinos Mavropanos to talented youngsters like William Saliba and Tyreece John-Jules, there are plenty of names to keep a close eye on away from the Emirates this season.
So how are the 12 loan stars getting on around the world?
We take a look…
The latest name added to the Arsenal loan army.
Lucas Torreira’s return to Italy was confirmed last week and in time for him to make the Fiorentina matchday squad against Torino on Saturday evening.
Although, he was an unused substitute as Viola sealed their first victory of the Serie A season.
Every week it seems William Saliba is on a mission to prove Arteta and Edu wrong.
And once again, he’s completed his weekly mission.
Just hours after his parent club were humiliated 5-0 away at Manchester City – a game which the Spaniard opted to select Sead Kolasinac as a central defender – the 20-year-old was dominant in defence as Marseille recorded a 3-1 win over his former side Saint-Etienne.
As per @FTalentScout on Twitter, Saliba’s game by numbers made for pleasant viewing and once again raises the question of has Arteta made a mistake regarding the Frenchman?
Of course, there’s still a long way to go and things can turn around, but verdicts such as ‘enormous talent’ and ‘a pure joy to watch’ potentially highlights an error of judgment.
Saliba can continue his good start to the season as he’s been named in the France U21 squad for games against North Macedonia and Faroe Islands.
Six days after Matteo Guendouzi and teammate Alvaro Gonzalez rushed over to support Dimitri Payet in a clash with Nice fans, he let his football do the talking once again.
Arteta has spoken of needing goals from his central midfielders and Guendouzi has answered that challenge.
Except not in Arsenal colours as he broke the deadlock against Saint-Etienne with a smart finish from close range.
It has been reported that the deal agreed between the Gunners and Marseille is an initial loan with an option to buy next summer dependent on certain achievable conditions.
What those conditions are have not been made clear just yet, but Guendouzi has started all four Ligue 1 games so far this season and now has his first goal.
If there are questions being asked about the decision to loan out Saliba, then maybe the same should apply to Mavropanos.
The Greece international is back at Stuttgart for another loan spell and scored his second goal in four appearances across all competitions in a 3-2 home defeat by Freiburg.
That result leaves Stuttgart three places above the relegation zone and Mavropanos has vowed to help improve their position in the table after the international break.
This bodes well for Arsenal as they will benefit from Stuttgart avoiding relegation.
football.londonunderstands that an obligation to buy has already been agreed upon, with The Athletic suggesting that it could be worth £3m if Mavropanos helps the club to remain in the Bundesliga.
Furthermore, this could increase up to £5m when various add-ons are taken into account.
Another defender loaned out by Arsenal this summer.
Ballard has already established himself as a key member of the Lions’ backline as he’s started all but one game so far this season and came out on top against a fellow Gunners loanee at the weekend.
The young Swede, who has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, made his return to action for Viktoria Koln at the weekend following a couple of games on the sidelines.
Playing the final 29 minutes of a 3-1 home win over SC Freiburg, the teenager is still awaiting his first goal.
The 20-year-old played the full 90 minutes on his Doncaster Rovers debut on the opening weekend of the League One season, but didn’t make the matchday squad for the next three games.
With that said, he did return against Portsmouth and has started the last two games.
However, Smith is yet to taste victory as a Doncaster player following back-to-back 2-0 losses at the hands of Stoke City in the Carabao Cup – and against Rotherham United.
For the second time in his career, Iliev has joined Slovakian side SKF Sered.
He conceded three times on his second debut last month, but followed that up with a clean sheet as Sered clinched a 1-0 win over Dunajska Streda.
After going two league games without a clean sheet, Iliev put that record right at the weekend as Sered held Trencin to a goalless draw on Saturday.
After six appearances across all competitions for Blackpool, the 20-year-old is still awaiting his first goal after failing to break his duck in a two-minute cameo appearance off the bench against Millwall at the weekend.
Although, he did catch the eye in the Carabao Cup second tie at home to Sunderland last week, claiming two assists.
So much so that John-Jules has been rewarded with a first call-up to the England U21’s for next month’s fixtures against Romania and Kosovo.
With Folarin Balogun and Emile Smith Rowe also called up, a mini-Arsenal Hale End reunion is on the cards.
The young Arsenal centre-back made his first start Ross County against Rangers last Sunday and it turned out to be a bittersweet afternoon for him as he got on the scoresheet, but the hosts still conceded four as they slumped to a home defeat.
Clarke fared better at the weekend, playing 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw away at Aberdeen.
The goalkeeper has joined Vanarama National League South side Welling United on loan, but is yet to make an appearance.
The right-back has missed Nottingham Forest’s last three games with a hamstring injury that he sustained 17 minutes into his second appearance for the club against Blackburn Rovers.
“It is his hamstring. We’re still assessing him and at this moment we don’t think it’s so bad, but we will assess that one and scan it as always,” Chris Hughton confirmed.
“It’s disappointing for us, but your first thoughts are with the lad.
“It’s an exciting time for him as he’s at the start of his career, he is a highly-rated player at Arsenal, and even in the short time he’s been here, we can seen the qualities he has.
“Our first thoughts are very much with him, and we just hope it doesn’t disrupt his season too much.”
As per transfermarkt, Osei-Tutu’s return date is penciled in for September 8 which means he is on course to be available for selection after the international break.