Here’s how the Arsenal are loanees faring across Europe this season

After making headlines during the summer transfer window with some heavy investments, Unai Emery and Arsenal are making good use of the loan system this season.

Dani Ceballos, who was roped in on loan from Real Madrid before the deadline, hasn’t fully filled the massive void left by the departure of Aaron Ramsey but the Spaniard’s creativity and industry in the middle of the park cannot be doubted. 

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However, bringing players in on loan isn’t the only thing that Arsenal have done so well this season. In fact, the decision to loan several players out is also paying rich dividends, be it youngsters looking to make an impression with more professional exposure or established stalwarts seeking regular minutes away from North London. 

With that in mind, let us have a look at the performances of some of Arsenal’s loan stars this season.

1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (AS Roma)

The Armenian international hasn’t really set the stage on fire in the Serie A but he has shown some early signs of promise at the Stadio Olimpico.

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The 30-year-old is yet to establish himself as a regular fixture under Paulo Fonseca but he has started 3 league games for the Giallorossi while also playing a solitary cameo off the bench.

Mkhitaryan scored in the 4-2 victory over Sassuolo in September, blew hot and cold over the next few games before chipping in with a match-winning assist to guide Roma to a 1-0 victory over Lecce this week.

It’s not bad for the 30-year-old, who would have found his playtime seriously limited at the Emirates this season following the arrival of Nicolas Pepe in the summer. 

2. Mohamed Elneny (Besiktas)

Having spent three seasons on the periphery of the first-team, Elneny went out on loan to Turkish giants Besiktas in the summer. The Egyptian’s departure seemed like a fair settlement for all parties given that he would have only played a bit-part role under Emery. 

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The 27-year-old had a horrendous start to life at his new club when he was sent off on his debut against Gaziasehir Gaziantep in September. However, Elneny has played every minute of Besiktas’ Europa League campaign so far and was a part of the side that lost 1-0 to Wolves on Matchday 2. 

The Egyptian put up a solid display to guide Besiktas to a 1-0 victory over rivals Galatasaray this week. 

3. Eddie Nketiah (Leeds United)

The academy prospect would have hoped to play regularly in the Championship when he completed a loan move to Elland Road in the summer but things haven’t really panned out well as far as the striker’s playtime is concerned. 

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With Marcelo Bielsa preferring Patrick Bamford up top, Nketiah has only been afforded cameos off the bench in West Yorkshire and is yet to start a league game for the Whites after 14 rounds. 

Despite that, Nketiah has managed to rack up five goals in all competitions, including crucial strikes against Preston, Brentford and Barnsley in the Championship.

Considering the situation, Arsenal must make a decision on his future and possibly recall him in January if his game time continues to be unsatisfactory. 

4. William Saliba (Saint Etienne)

The 18-year-old was loaned back to his former club immediately after Arsenal splashed a staggering £27million to acquire his services in the summer. The French U20 international is back in action in his homeland, following an extended spell on the sidelines. 

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Saliba, who returned to action from his hamstring injury late in September, has already made 4 appearances in the Ligue 1 while also playing a part in Saint-Etienne’s Europa League campaign. 

5. Ben Sheaf (Doncaster Rovers)

The 21-year-old academy graduate, who made his first-team debut for the Gunners back in the 2017-18 season, was once again shipped out on loan this summer, having spent time on loan at Stevenage earlier in his career. 

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The highly-rated defensive midfielder is turning eyeballs with his consistently impressive displays in the League One this term, establishing himself as one of the key cogs in the midfield under Darren Moore’s stewardship. 

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The former England U18 international has made 12 league appearances for the 7th-placed side in the third-tier and it remains to be seen as to whether or not he manages to break into Emery’s plans moving forward. 

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