Last season Arsenal had 10 senior players out on loan throughout the year and 16 from the academy. Per Mertesacker has done a wonderful job of building out the depth at every position across the U23 and U18 levels, as well as the club landing positive and challenging loan moves for the majority of the academy prospects. Expect nothing different this summer as Arsenal hope to backfill their current squad and future transfers with exciting young talent as we have seen across the attacking line in recent years. On Monday, the club began announcing the 22/23 moves.
First up, is 21-year-old center-back Harry Clarke. Last season Clarke spent his year in the Scottish Premiership, first with Ross County before going out on loan again in January to Hibernian FC. Next season he will make the step up into the Championship joining Stoke City on a year-long loan, who finished 14th last year.
Over the last two seasons, Clarke has not only been getting regular starts but has begun to contribute goals and assists from his CB role. This will be Clarke’s third straight year of gaining significant senior-level experience and his best challenge yet to show Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta how close he is to pushing for a first-team squad position in the future.
Yet another center-back prospect confirmed his home for ‘22/23 with the announcement that Omar Rekik would be joining Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie. Rekik, who is 20, spent last year with the Arsenal U23 squad having joined from Hertha BSC the prior January. Sparta, who finished 14th last season, gives Omar his first senior-level club experience. However, this past year he made his full national team debut for Tunisia, making their squad for the African Cup of Nations and playing in an international friendly for them last summer. This season will provide insight into how ready Rekik is at the snext level and potentially follow Clarke’s path into a Championship-tier loan move next year.
Expect plenty of more loan announcements from Arsenal’s Academy in the weeks to come.