Arsenal go into the international break on a high following a string of good results. They beat Brighton at home 2-0 after traveling to Belarus to dispatch BATE Borisov in the Europa League.
Add that to wins over Bournemouth, FC Cologne, Doncaster and West Brom, as well as the great draw at the Bridge, and the Gunner’s early-season struggles seems to have dissipated somewhat.
Since they won’t play again until the 14th, a trip to Watford, let’s take a look at the players who haven’t been around lately.
Specifically, let’s see how Arsenal’s loanees are faring so far this year.
After making a big-money move to the Emirates last season, Lucas Perez found his play time limited. He nearly made another transfer during January, but Wenger convinced the Spaniard to stick around.
Sadly, nothing changed for the striker, and he now finds himself back at former club Deportivo La Coruna on loan for the season.
Lucas Perez made his second debut for the team on September 10th against Real Sociedad, but was unable to prevent his side form losing 4-2 at home. The striker came on in the 49′ with his team down 2-1.
Perez has come off the bench twice so far this year, in his first two appearances for Deportivo. Since then he has made three starts, and scored in his most recent game, a 2-1 win over Getafe.
The Deportivo faithful will likely welcome Perez’s return, as their club didn’t win a single game until their talismanic striker made his move. So far Deportivo have won two of the three games in which he started.
Currently they sit in 15th place in La Liga, with 7 points to their name.
The Costa Rican forward picked up an injury during the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, making a return to the Arsenal first team unlikely. He then unexpectedly made a loan switch to Real Betis on transfer deadline day.
Campbell is still not fit, and is not expected to play until January at least. Time will only tell, but with his contract at the Emirates winding down and currently on his sixth loan, it seems improbable to see him in an Arsenal kit anytime soon.
The young right-back spent nearly two full seasons on loan at West Ham United until picking up an injury, forcing a return to Arsenal. That was almost a year and a half ago now, but the defender has yet to claim a starting place in North London.
Last year he was exposed time and time again at Arsenal, prompting a loan move to Championship side Birmingham City. All seemed well at first, that is until Carl Jenkinson made his season, and club, debut.
He looked fresh and hungry from the first whistle, however hobbled off with an arm injury after barely 30 minutes of game time.
There is still no timeline for Jenkinson’s return, although Birmingham fans will surely hope he is back sooner rather than later.
Arsenal fans, on the other hand, may just wish the young man all the best in his future career.
With Petr Cech the unquestioned number one at Arsenal, and David Ospina staying at the club, the door opened this summer for Emi Martinez to ply his trade elsewhere. Getafe, of Spain’s La Liga, were happy to oblige.
Since the move, however, the young keeper has yet to make a competitive appearance. With a relatively sparse 7 goals against so far this year, the Argentine may feel like he swapped like-for-like, with a run of starts seeming unlikely so far.
Another Arsenal man who moved to Birmingham City this summer, Bramall has had better injury luck than Jenkinson. Brammal mainly deploys as a left-back, and has made two appearances for Harry Redknapp’s team since the loan move.
His first came almost as soon as the ink was dry on his year-long deal, as he started in the club’s League Cup loss to Bournemouth. Bramall started the game, going 78 minutes before being subbed off.
He then started opposite of Jenkinson in the 2-0 home loss to Reading in which the right-back went off injured.
So far it’s 168 minutes played for the defender, with hopefully many more minutes to come.
Just like Alex Iwobi, Nwakali is a young Nigerian attacking midfielder with a bright future. He spent last season on-loan in the Netherlands with MVV Maastricht, and will again go to the low country to ply his trade.
This time he went to VVV-Venlo of the Eredivisie, the Dutch top-flight. So far the young man has made an impact, starting twice and coming off the bench a further three times.
His first appearance came in a 1-1 draw with Groningen, in which Nwakali scored the equalizer in second-half stoppage time, endearing himself to local fans in the process.
We’ll have to take a bit of a fall from the Premiership to find Marc Bola, who is spending this season with Bristol Rovers in Football League 1. The young left-back, despite playing in a less-than-prestigious league, has done well for himself.
So far Bola has started and completed 6 matches in all competitions. He has featured in the league three times, twice in the Carabao Cup and once in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
It will be some time before Bola is ready for the big time, but plenty of lower-league minutes will certainly toughen him up.
Mavididi is an English striker with one fun name to say. He is still only 18 years old, but already secured a loan move to Championship side Preston North End (the other Invincibles).
So far his role has been off the bench, making four appearances in that fashion, with only two starts to his name. Unfortunately, Mavididi has yet to break the duck at his new home, but the statistics say he probably isn’t far off.
The ninth and final name on the list is another attacker, this time the Japanese Takuma Asano. The 22-year-old is spending this season with Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga, and has been used mainly as a sub.
His first match was a start in the German Cup, although he lasted only 54′ against Cottbus. Asano went on to make two starts in the League, adding four appearances off the bench.
Interestingly, Stuttgart have yet to win in the Bundesliga in games in which Asano has started, meanwhile have lost only one in matches in which he has been subbed on.