Why are Arsenal the only side criticised for loaning out players?

Nuno Tavares scored a beauty at the weekend for Marsielle.

This lead to the usualy suspects to jump on the highlights and use it to bash the club.

I really do not get these fans.

The majority hate the club due to what happened with Mesut Ozil. they then jumped onto Matteo Guendouzi (whose problems have followed him to France) and William Saliba. It seems Nuno is the next Arsenal player they will obsess over.

Now we know why they do it.

Any player loaned out by the club, they write the narrative that it is due to Mikel Arteta not rating them. That the Spanaird can not develop young players so would rather loan them out then do the work with them.

We all know this opinion is built due to their hatred for Arteta – built due to him being manager when Ozil left – rather than due to any sensible football opinion.

It is almost as if no club, ever, loans players out for first team experience and to help with their development.

Going from talented youth player to senior regular is not an easy step.

More players fail to make this step then succeed. And one of the biggest issues – especially when at a big club – is senior game time.

The likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City just can not give a player the senior game time required for them to develop.

Not every player is a bukayo Saka or Phil Foden,.

This season, with 5 substitutes, we will see an increase in academy products getting game time. but does coming on continually in the 88th minute really help develop a player?

Decades ago, clubs would use the reserve leagues to integrate talented young players alongside senior pro’s that were not selected for that weekends game. It was a useful tool.

But the introduction of more substitutes basically made reserve leagues defunct. This led it to be rebranded the U23s in recent years.

It was hoped this would bridge the gap between youth team football and senior football. But the mjaority of teams simply play their teenagers in U23 games to get them used to playing twice a week.

Loan moves for experience are not new things.

David Beckham spent time on loan at Preston in 1995. Frank Lampard a spell at Swansea around the same time. John Terry was loaned out to Nottingham Forest.

Jack Wilshere spent time at Bolton Wanderers whilst Harry Kane had 4 loan deals (Leyton Orient, Millwall, Leicester City and Norwich City).

Mason Mount had spells at Vitesse and Derby County whilst Andreas Christensen spent two seasons on-loan in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Jamie O’Hara recently claimed that Saliba due to his loan deals.

“I mean you’re asking me about players, I have no interest in Arsenal whatsoever. If you have loaned him out and he has been there three seasons, you’ve loaned him out twice [then] he obviously ain’t good enough. Get rid of him.”

Now we can always ignore what O’Hara says. A failed footballer who is now a rent-a-quote gobshite that will say anything for attention to keep the pay cheques from TalkSport coming in. He loses his place on that show he will struggle to keep up his child maintenance payments.

But those quotes are shared by some in the media – as well as so called Arsenal fans – who act like loan deals are not part and parcel of the game.

It really does feel like Arsenal are the only club ever criticised for loaning out a player for them to get week in, week out senior game time.

How many of them have claimed Kane was not good enough due to his two loan spells? The answer is zero.

Saliba clearly is good enough, whilst Nuno will show on loan whether he is or is not good enough.

Whilst everyone got hyped by the goal, if you watched the whole game it would have been impossible for you to ignore Nuno’s horrendous defending. And this is why he has been sent on loan.

The club clearly think there is a player in there, but he needs to play week in week out. Something which Arsenal could not do. So a loan deal was the sensible option.

Now this has nothing to do with Arteta being “unable to develop youngsters” and everything to do with training ground development being inferior to getting senior game time.

Take a look at the latest England squad.

The 3 goal keepers selected have all spent time on loan – a combined 16 loan spells between them.

Gareth Southgate selected 9 defenders for the last squad. 7 of the 9 have been on loan. Also a combined 16 spells.

The only two not to go on loan – John Stones and James Justin – started their careers in the lower leagues which basically meant that by the time they moved to a Premier League club they had played plenty of senior football.

Of the 6 midfielders selected, only 2 have had a loan spell (6 combined spells). But like in defence 2 of the midfielders began life in the lower leagues. Only James Ward-Prowse and Declan Rice have only ever player Premier League football.

That is a total of 12 out of 18 players combining for 38 loan spells. And we are not even onto Harry Kane and the strikers yet!

7 players were listed as forwards in Southgates last squad (I will leave yo uto argue over whether wingers are midfielders or forwards).

Of the 7, 3 had loan spells in the lower leagues. A combined 8 loan spells between them – of which Harry Kane accounts for 50%.

Of the remaining players, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden were all “wodnerkids” who were playing senior Premier League football at 17/18. The last is Jarrod Bowen who came up through the lower leagues.

So we end up with a senior England squad where:

  • 15 out of the 25 players have been on loan
  • Of the remaining 10, 5 started their careers in the lower leagues

Every club up and down the country uses loan deals to give senior game time to young professional. But it is only Arsenal that receive criticism for using the loan system.

Enjoy your Wednesday.



1 thought on “Why are Arsenal the only side criticised for loaning out players?

  1. ClockEndRider

    Really good piece of analysis, Keenos.
    Never forget that O’Hara is a failed Arsenal product, who then went to T*tt *nh*m and failed again. Not that he’s a bitter man, in any way……
    In football pundit terms, he is also an idiot in search of a village.



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