Long term readers of the blog will know we are huge champions of Hale End.
There is nothing better as a fan seeing a lad that has been with the club since a young boy breaking through and becoming a first team regular.
In recent years we have been able to celebrate the likes of Alex Iwobi, Bukayo Saka, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock pulling on that Arsenal shirt, living the dream.
But we also understand that not everyone will make it at Arsenal.
For every Saka, there is a Xavier Amaechi, whilst Eddie Nketiah progressed, Stephy Mavididi joined Juventus.
The step up from talented youth team player to first team contender at a club like Arsenal is huge.
Our last great youth side was the 2009 FA Youth Cup wining team that contained Jack Wilshere.
The game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane will live long in the memory of any fan that was there.
The side that went on to win the title contained some talented kids – but only 2 have gone on to have a regular career at the top level; Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin.
Others, such as Emmanuel Frimpong, Kyle Bartley, Luke Ayling, Henri Lansbury, James Shea and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas have had decent careers, but not really hit the big time.
The key is maximising the sales of those that you sell.
We perhaps undersold the likes of Amaechi & Mavididi as they failed to sign the “second contract” which would secure their services at 18 for another 3 years.
That second contract is important as the one signed at 17-years-old can only be a maximum of 2 years. Once they hit 18, they will usually get offered a new 3 year deal. If they decide not sign it, clubs must sell then or risk losing the player for compensation 12 months later.
Arsenal are in that situation with Florian Balogun at the moment.
If a player does sign a 3 year deal at 18, it then enables the club to have develop the player internally for a year, before sending the player out on loan for a year, to truly judge whether they are going to make it.
At that point the player is 20, with a year left on the contract.
The loan deal becomes very important when it comes to maximising profit.
Off the back of scoring 10 goals in 20 games for Swansea City in the Championship, Liverpool sold Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United for a reported fee of around £23.5 million.
At the same time Sheffield United were also sniffing around Folarin Balogun, with a fee of £7million reported.
That difference in transfer fee is the difference between one having a decent loan spell and one not.
It also works on a smaller scale, with Championship sides more likely to spend £5m on a player following a good loan spell rather than £1m on a player who has no first team football. League One sides spending £1m on a player after a good loan spell rather than £250k, and so on.
So whilst the lads out on loan from Arsenal might not make it in North London, there loan deals are key to the club as their sales could raise millions next summer.
Take Matt Smith, who was part of Arsenal’s FA Cup final winning squad.
Smith is currently performing very well on loan for Swindon.
Already 20, Arsenal have a lot of options in central midfield coming through – the likes of Charlie Patino, Miguel Azeez and Marcelo Flores. All 3 of these are rate higher than Smith being younger.
If Smith continues his good form for Swindon, it is likely a Championship side would look to offer a couple of million for him next summer.
Arsenal also have the likes of Jordi Osei-Tutu, Tyreece John-Jules, Mark McGuinness, Zech Medley, Tolaji Bola, Ben Sheaf, Trae Coyle, Zak Swanson, James Olayinka and Harry Clarke playing across the Championship, League One and Holland.
The majority of those players on loan will leave Arsenal this summer. Some will go on a free, others will be sold.
If they continue to have good loan spells, Arsenal would look to command 7 figure transfer fees rather than 6 figures. These sales could raise millions next summer, giving Arsenal further investment into the first team.
A good loan spell is not only good for a players development, but also maximises their sale potential.