The Gunners have loaned out a number of young players this season, and many have gained valuable experience at various levels of the English Football League.
Arsenal hope to return to the long-awaited Champions League.
The Gunners are in the top four in the Premier League. They are guaranteed to beat arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night.
If they are three points behind Spurs at home, it will be their first European Championship qualifier since the 2016-17 season. The focus is on the task, but it will not be long before the pre-season preparations begin with head coach Mikel Arteta.
He has to make a number of decisions about the future not only of the senior stars but also of those on the threshold of the main team. Several youngsters spent last season on loan, and many have played successfully in the EFL. Here, “Mirror Football” manages their rules and evaluates what happens next.
Striker Balogun was loaned out to Middlesbrough in the second half of the season. He was expected to help boost Boro’s progress and return to the Emirate in the summer.
The striker signed a long-term contract with Arsenal a year ago and made his Premier League debut against Brentford. However, his loan at Boro did not go as planned. He has competed in 18 championships, but only half of them have started.
He added three goals and three assists as the temporary employer failed to qualify for the playoffs. Not only did Boro lose the draw at the end of the season, but he will now be kicking his heels as he will not be able to play in Arsenal’s best league game this season, according to Premier League rules.
Ballard made 30 appearances for Milwall on loan during the season. The Northern Ireland defender has been promoted to the EFL after a similar success with Swindon in the second division, Blackpool in the first division and now the Lions in the second division.
Despite the impressions, Millwall boss Gary Rovett hopes to send Ballard to the Gunners next season. He said: “It’s really simple with Dan. He worked really well. If Dan had a chance again, we would definitely bring him back.
“But I don’t think he’s going to [return to Milwall] because I think Arsenal will be looking for a different kind of challenge for him. That’s the kind of club that tends to do that.” Ballard’s current contract with the United Arab Emirates expires this summer, but an extension is expected.
Estonian goalkeeper Hain joined Reading on a temporary contract in January. But he made just five appearances at home in February before suffering a spectacular injury.
Reading boss Paul Ins said at the time, “He (Hayne) fell at home and took a tendon from his thumb. So they’re talking about not having surgery for 4-6 weeks or two months. If so.” Haye has a long contract with Arsenal and will be available for loan next season after recovering from injury.
Wing John-Jules spent the first half of the election campaign at Championship team Blackpool. He played a total of 11 games, but before the deal expired in January, he generally played for the game.
In the second half of the season, he was sent to Premier League side Sheffield Wednesday, but the spell was a disaster. John-Jules played only one game – playing on the bench for 18 minutes, injuring himself and missing the rest of the season for the Owls.
Osei-Tutu has taken two different loans this season. He changed leagues and went to Nottingham Forest four times before joining Rotterham in January.
He was even more successful in South Yorkshire, making 16 appearances and scoring an important goal in Millers’ EFL Trophy, which beat Sutton in April. He finished the season well, helping Paul Warne’s side advance to the title. It’s been another year since his contract with Arsenal expired, but the 23-year-old may need a fresh start in his career.
Midfielder Smith made 43 appearances for Doncaster and was eliminated from the Premier League. It was his third separate loan in his third term. His future in the Emirate remains uncertain.
Defender Alebios Crude made his senior debut after a short loan spell. Unfortunately, Alexandra will be disappointed to be relegated from the Premier League. Alebios started in the third round with six starts. He is only 20 years old, but he will get another loan next season.
Asia spent the first half of the season on loan at Portsmouth, gaining valuable experience in the Premier League and making six appearances. Since then, he has rejoined Arsenal’s Under-23 side and has occasionally been drafted into the first team and even a substitute in league games. At just 19 years old, another success in the EFL is sure to come next season.
Central midfielder Dinzeyi made just three appearances for Carlisle in the first half of the season. It included his first league games in October, and the only major game of his career was the EFL Trophy. He was named in Arsenal’s 25-man squad in the second half of the season, but his whereabouts are unknown.
The 18-year-old defender came to Lincoln in the second half of the season and attracted a lot of attention. He scored his first goal in 17 games, beating Sheffield Wednesday in March.
He has been selected as a future first-team player, and talks are continuing as the Gunners offered him a new contract in March.