It’s another international break (sigh), so let’s talk about anything aside from the international game. Not only is my beloved USMNT not going to Russia, but my even more beloved Arsenal is coming off another loss away from home.
So, to create a distraction from all these terrible things, let’s take a look at how the players spending the season away from the Emirates are faring.
Arsenal really splashed the cash to bring Deportivo La Coruna star Lucas Perez to North London last summer. He then went on to play a pivotal role at London Colny, while saw his actual playing time fall to almost nil.
Now, however, the striker has returned to La Liga, and will spend the remainder of the year with former club Deportivo. Perez has featured in 9 of the 11 league fixtures the team has played, contributing 3 goals and an assist.
As the club has only netted 13 times this year, and the player joined right at the end of the window, Lucas Perez has quickly resumed his role as one of (if not) the most influential attacker Deportivo has.
The side sits 16th in the table, however, just 5 points from relegation with 13 points total.
In his only Copa Del Rey appearance, Perez scored a goal, his team’s lone strike, as they slumped to a 4-1 defeat. They will have the chance to make things right in the second leg, but must do it on the road.
The Spanish striker is averaging a goal every 190 minutes, has a shot accuracy rating of 56% and has an average of 78% successful passing.
Over the summer, during CONCACAF’s Gold Cup, the Costa Rican picked up what was initially described as a “serious knee injury” and was expected to miss “at least” six months.
That was all the way back in July, and Joel Campbell, fortunately for the player, has made a full recovery ahead of schedule.
Heads initially turned on August 31st, when Real Betis agreed to take the player on loan for the sixth time as an Arsenal man, due to the severity of the injury. Campbell has proved the team right, however, and has made 4 appearances in all competitions for the La Liga outfit.
His season debut came on October 15 in a league match versus Valencia, and former Gunner Gabriel Paulista. Joel Campbell made his comeback in style, picking up a goal and assist in a substitute appearance.
He followed that up with his first start of the year, though was subbed off, six days later against Alaves. Campbell has since made two appearances off the bench, while shooting an average of once per game.
Real Betis are in 8th in the table, with 17 points from 11 matches so far. Joel Campbell is enjoying a pass accuracy rating of 92% in the league, getting an average of 66.74 touches per game.
His strike rate is good, though the sample size is small, as he has netted every 89 minutes. Despite his fine play, injuries continue to plague Campbell, and he missed out on Friday’s match versus Getafe with a knock.
Campbell’s contract is running out at the end of the season, so don’t hope to see the Costa Rican back at the Emirates.
The man who grew up with the Arsenal poster above his bed, only to find some guy named Hector Bellerin keeping him out of his boyhood club. To add insult to injury, he’s also the Arsenal man (one of ’em anyway) whose injury record keeps him off the pitch.
After joining the team in 2011, he has gone on to make 62 appearances for the club, and gone out on loan three different times. He spent two straight seasons at West Ham before returning to North London in 2016, following a knee injury.
Last season he got 5 starts in three competitions for Arsenal and, despite impressing in a league cup win over Reading, really looked out of his comfort zone. Our man Arsene then decided he needed some time in the Championship and, alongside Cohen Bramall, joined Birmingham City on a season-long loan.
The man with the worst luck in the UK then picked up a shoulder injury that has kept him out since August 21st, the day he debuted for the club. Birmingham still do not have a timetable for his return, although as they are languishing in the relegation zone, perhaps once he is fit, Jenkinson will get minutes.
Arsenal’s goalkeeper situation was strange over the summer, same as most positions, with many contracts running down. With Wojciech Szczesny departing for Juventus to serve as Gigi Buffon’s successor, and David Ospina nearly moving to the Turkish League and/or Nice, it looked like the Argentine would finally get a chance as the number two.
However, Ospina is still at the club, so Arsenal decided to let Martinez seek greener pastures via loan. His destination, like a few others on this list, was Spain.
Getafe has taken the player on loan, although haven’t given him much more than the chance he got in North London.
So far, Martinez has played only one game, a Coapa Del Rey match at home to Alaves. Getafe lost the game 1-0, with Emiliano making just one save off the two on target. He also distributed the ball successfully 5 times, unsuccessfully 4 times and has completed 27 passes.
Getafe have shipped 13 goals in 11 games and sit in 12th in the La Liga table.
Along with Carl Jenkinson, Bramall joined Birmingham City on loan for the year. Much like his fellow loanee, Bramall has not gotten many chances to impress, although for him it is not due to injury.
The youngster usually plays as a left-back, and has gotten the nod from Harry Redknapp twice so far, both starting. The first match was a 2-1 loss in the Carabao Cup to Bournemouth in August, followed by a 2-0 defeat by Reading, also in August.
Other than those two matches, Bramall has only made the bench once, a September defeat to Preston (more on them later). The player is only 21 and so needs many more minutes, Gooners worldwide will be hopeful our old nemesis Redknapp will give them to the young man!
As mentioned before, Birmingham are in the relegation zone of the Championship.
The young Nigerian has been compared to Alex Iwobi more than once, and not just due to their respective nationality. Nwakali also plays as an attacking-midfielder and right now looks to have a bright future.
This is his second season on loan, the first being spent at MVV Maastricht in the Dutch second tier, but makes the jump up to the top-flight. He is spending this year with VVV-Venlo, who sit 12th in the table on 13 points through 11 games.
Nwakali has gotten the chance to impress so far, playing in 8 of the 11 Eredivisie games in which his team has participated. The young man has also gotten the nod in 2 of the 3 cup matches thus far.
In league play, the Nigerian has scored one goal, which came as a stoppage-time equalizer on his debut against Groningen. He enjoys 69 touches per game (not making that up, I swear!) and a pass accuracy rating of 81%.
We’ll have to travel all the way to the third tier to find Mr. Bola, who is at Bristol Rovers in Football Leauge 1 for the season. Bola has been heavily involved with his outfit’s campaign so far, making ten appearances in all competitions.
Bola has won 83% of his duels, cleared the ball 7 times and conceded just one foul. Offensively, he has picked up an assist out of his 13 crosses so far.
While the competition at FL1 isn’t the best, this is a hopeful start from the 19-year-old.
The young striker has a name this is just too much fun to say. Perhaps the reason he is not getting starts is because it is a tough one to spell?
Either way, Mavididi has made just two starts during his loan spell at Championship team Preston North End (the other Invincibles), coming off the bench on six occasions.
The young man still hasn’t scored a goal, but has turned four shots on goal. Mavididi’s last two games were both spent on the bench as an unused sub.
Hopefully the boy can finish a move or two to get the confidence going.
The ninth, and final, Arsenal loanee out right now is the Japanese Takuma Asano. The winger is in Germany for the year, playing for Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart, newly promoted from the second tier.
In all competitions, he has made 7 starts and 4 substitute appearances, while the team sit in 12th place in the table, with 13 points through 11.
Asano hasn’t scored yet, although has been involved in some good buildup play. The youngster gets 36 touches per game, and has a pass accuracy rating on 76%.
He’s won 33% of his 66 duels, made 106 passes and has dribbled successfully 8 times. Asano also spent last season with Stuttgart, but is due back in North London at the end of the season.
That’s it, Goons, you now know everything that the loanees have been up to since leaving Arsenal in the summer. Well, everything they’ve done on the pitch anyway. Most stats came from One Football (not an advert, just in case you would like to fact-check).