It was only 2 months ago when Wenger loaned 20 year-old Jeff Reine-Adélaïde to relegation-bound Ligue 1 side Angers.
Jeff has been plagued with injuries, and following his first senior start in 2016/17 he was sidelined while Iwobi began emerging in the Arsenal first team. Thus, a new chapter began at Angers on loan for 6 months in 2018.
When asked about the loan, Reine-Adélaïde said “[Wenger] asked me to work hard in Angers, listen well and come back stronger and more mature. I know that many people think that I should not have gone to Arsenal so early, but I have no regrets. Arsene Wenger gave me opportunities with the first team, then I had physical problems. He then helped me a lot to come back, and I want to say thank you.”
Well Jeff, the way you have been playing tells me you have proven a lot in this loan spell. But don’t take my word for it, Jeff posted a video of some of his highlights since his arrival in France. Take a look:
To give some background on this loan spell: Reine-Adélaïde was loaned for the rest of the season to Ligue 1 side Angers in the January transfer window. Reine-Adélaïde’s first appearance with Angers was against Monaco on February 10th, 25 games into the season. Angers sat second bottom of Ligue 1 with 25 points at that time.
Although it was only an 18 minute appearance, Jeff put together 17/18 (94%) passes and 2 dribbles in a game that was already decided before his entrance. Since that time, Reine-Adélaïde has made 1 more substitute appearance before being included as a starter in Angers’ last 4 Ligue 1 games. Angers have managed to come away with 10 points in those 5 appearances, and Reine-Adélaïde has become a regular part of the starting XI at the French club.
His standout performance was in the game against Bordeaux, which ended at 0-0. 11 dribbles completed, 4 tackles, and 2 aerials won saw him awarded Man of the Match via WhoScored. No goals or assists yet for the 20 year-old, but it is hard to argue that the team are doing better since his inclusion in the starting XI. Angers moved from 19th to 12th in the table, now sitting 6 points above safety with 7 games left to be played.
In case you missed the reason we like to gush about Reine-Adélaïde, his performance a few seasons ago in the 2015 Emirates Cup was incredibly promising. Watch the video with Wenger’s commentary as audio below (especially the 00:46 mark where he deletes Kevin De Bruyne with a beautiful move):
While I am not saying he is the answer to Arsenal’s current problems, Jeff has made his impact in Ligue 1 and will look to lead Angers to stay in Ligue 1 for at least another season. Time to pay attention to this lad and remember what he can offer as a player coming back to Arsenal in May.
Can Reine-Adélaïde offer this Arsenal team something next season?