Friday, January 05, 2007

What is the point of Arsenal's loan system? And other transfer thoughts

It seems that Anthony Stokes is on his way out of the Emirates. Not that he was ever really in of course, but after his blistering form in the SPL, you might have thought he'd have been given half a chance at the Grove. Especially as he can't be any worse than Jeremie 'where's the barn door' Aliadiere. The SPL is no match for the Premiership, but it's no worse than the Championship - where the bulk of our other loanees are. And surely his value can't fall so much in half a season that he isn't worth keeping for at least that period of time. The mooted £2.7 million is a decent price, but it seems an unnecessary sale.

With Stokes gone, Larrson and Lupoli practically out the door, and Bendtner and Muamba by no means guaranteed a future if and when they return, the question must be begged: what is the point of our loan system?

Is it to give promising youngsters a chance at first team football, in order to assist their development into our first team? Or is it just a 'try before you buy' situation - a shop window for their quality so we can get a decent price? I was always of the impression it was the former situation, but, given the events of late, I'm inclined to think its the latter. It's notable that youngsters such as Walcott and Fabregas - who obviously have the quality and who Wenger has clear faith in - are retained by Arsenal in order to oversee their progress. I think from now on, I'm going to view loans as almost invariable precursors to sales, a situation I hadn't fully accepted until now.

If we are to believe Arsene then no-one will be arriving any time soon. But it's fun to speculate. And that wry Alsace smile of his can be taken in a number of ways.

If ANR [back on at the moment] are to be believed, Nigel Reo-Coker could be on his way. I'm not sure I fully do believe them, and do we really need another central-midfielder? Especially a sulky one who's likely to cost upwards of £12 million?

The same prima-donna behaviour puts me off buying Buffon. He's a fine keeper, but can the Emirates, large as it is, contain his ego? I'd much rather us try and buy one of Scott Carson, Ben Foster, or Craig Gordon, who have all been oustanding, if young, and who all know the English game.

The other players I'd like to see the club buy are Ribery and Gareth Bale. We need more options at left back, and a winger who can get goals - if Ribery can play on the left, it would be a done deal for me.

I expect us to buy no-one and that may be, even with a weak squad, the best way forward. Perhaps some consistency until the summer will help to separate the wheat from the chaff in the squad. I do remember Arsene saying he'd buy no-one last year as well though...


Anonymous said...

There is just no loan system. Players who go out on loan are the ones who will never make it at Arsenal. Most of the players who went out on loan never set the world on fire. Stokes stoked some fire but SPL is considered lower than championship at the moment. Bendtner has gone quite after a good start and he may lose it as well. if you are good enough, you stay at Arsenal and pick up Wengerball. If you are not good enough, you are loaned out to make a career else where.

Aliadiere is at a point where we may not get money ofr "youth development" and hence needs to be sold. Had he managed to bang ina couple there would have been buyers and he would have been gone by now.

Anonymous said...

seems to me that our youth system is becoming a factory for not quite good enough players to generate some income for our cash strapped club. How CAN Stokes can be sold and Aliadiere kept? Cos Stokes will actually fetch a few quid. All these players that Gooners were raving about cos they were told they were good- Lupoli and Co., how many Gooners have actually seen these guys play. I'm waiting on Merida and Vela to be sold next season. For every Fabregas there's 20 others.

Unknown said...

Wenger is a moron in this situation. His explanation by saying the likes of Baptista, Aliadiere, Vela, Lupoli, and Bendtner are all ahead of him.

Aliadiere has shown nothing in his opportunites given. Baptista has never played striker for us. Carlos Vela won't even be ready for another 2-3 years. Lupoli is going back to Italy.

Bendtner is the only other striker on loan generating some waves. Stokes and Bendtner deserve their chance in the first team...the same chance Aliadiere and Baptista have been given.

Just don't sell him. Give him a mission to go on an EPL team and score against our competition for a top 4 finish. If he scores in the Premiership with 1 goal every 2 matches...his price goes up to 15 million.

That's how inflated the Premiership is...but that's also how undderated Stokes is by a lot of Arsenal fans and especially Wenger.

Anonymous said...

Disagree with jist of post about our loan system I think that bendtner will be back and will be in contention for first team and wenger has said that he's reconsidered stokes future because of the goals he's got. Going out on loan doesn't necassarily mean your not good enough; there was never any doubt about pennants talent for instance but wenger thought he lacked the maturity to use his gifts and thought a stint somewhere else might make him change. In other cases players have needed confidence and going out on loan has been the best way to achieve this. Wenger may know whether a player has what it takes (i think lupoli was never going to be a wenger player for instance) before he goes out and the aim might be to put him in the shop window in this case but there is a point to the whole use of loans in my view. Aliadiere is a tricky one; he recently signed a long contract i seem to recall, indicating wenger wants to keep him, i think wenger is thinking he's direct and usually tests the keeper when hes in front of goal and is therefore something different for us; and for a 23 yr old he has had basically no first team football at arsenal. Wenger has to wait and see if this guy can improve over the rest of the season, if he doesn't then he'll go and bendtner will come in(the likely scenario) but till then i don't think he'll be sold.

Anonymous said...

Jay, it's a nice idea about playing stokes and telling him to go and get 1 in every 2 games, so his price rises, you it is a luxury that a club like arsenal cannot afford to take. we are under pressure to get results to win every game. witness the stick adebayor got cos he didnt perform straight away. the sme goes for song. it could never happen like that. It;s a shame, but it is so...

Anonymous said...

No player who went out on loan made it at Arsenal. Hoyte is the only survivor and that is possibly due to the usual defensive injury crisis. If a player is good enough for Wenger he stays at Arsenal. If they do not develop enough they are loaned out. Aliadiere is a different case with all those injuries. I think he is in team to get in a few goals and get a buyer. Henry is not going any where for a couple of seasons. Van Persie and Adebayor are doing well. Baptista waiting for his chance and Walcott lined up for future. I do not think Stokes had a chance. Aliadiere will go as well.

Let us not read too much in the goals scored in SPL. Even prolific scorers in Serie A have been found wanting in EPL.

Unknown said...

Suppose he has an impact in the EPL and scores at a prolific rate.

Then what?
True, no player that Wenger has let go have become a success yet.

But there's always a first time for everything isn't there. Even Bentley is beggining to show the sort of promise that we first though he'd be (practically terrozied our defense when we played Blackburn).

I just hope Wenger loans him out instead of selling him.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Savvy - what about Assley Hole? loaned out to palace, who wanted to buy him, arsene point blank refused,, he came back, dislodged sivinho, and went on to become one of the biggest and most selfish pr1cks in the game...

Goonerboy said...

To my knowledge, Cole is the only player who's gone out on loan and then really made it subsequently. Exception, not rule.

Anonymous said...

Yeah cashley did make it. He was helped by Silvinho's injury. Bentley is doing better now but he would still not get into Arsenal XI right now.

Jay, I did not mean to say that no player made it big after leaving though that is true. I just meant to say that wenger allows players to go on loan when he does not see them getting into first XI.

Anonymous said...

Jay, you've forgotten a number of other key attacking options in that list, such as Walcott, Adebayor, Van Persie and that Thierry Henry guy who I hear is a bit of alright. Those are 4 first team options that are all ahead of Stokes (even if Theo is being developed as a winger), and Bendtner I would think is quite likely to come back although he seems to have a bit of arrogance about him. It's really not a big deal, and we haven't even sold Stokes yet, culd be a loan, or we could sell him to Charlton or some other shite club. Do you think he would stay at a club like Charlton for the rest of his career if he was an exceptional player? No way, and if he develops even more it's entirely likely Arsenal will have first option to buy him back.

Anonymous said...

If they go out on loan, it is because they are old-enough to want a first-team spot but not good enough to play for the first-team.

Obviously, that combination makes it more likely than not they will not make the first team one day, but the possibility is there. I am certain Bendtner will be fourth striker next year, if his ego will allow him to play that role for a year or two.

Wenger obviously rates Bendtner ahead of Stokes, so he looks at his squad and sees this:

Henry - 29
Van Persie - 23
Adebayor - 21
Bendtner - 18

Do you really need more than four strikers of this quality to get through a Premiership season? Do any other side in the Premiership have four strikers of this quality?

The only one who might be gone in the next three or four years would be Henry.

So what do you do with Stokes in the meanwhile? He won't want to wait around without playing, so you have to sell him.

You can't compare it with Fàbregas and Walcott. They didn't just hang around in the reserves at 17, they were already good enough for the first team.

If you go out on loan, it's your last chance. The odds may be stacked against you, but it is still a chance.

Anonymous said...

Yes Stokes has scored some goals, but have any of you seen him play? Does his style suit the Wenger system? I think these are the questions that would determine it he is right for Arsenal. From Wenger's comments, I think he would have been happy for Stokes to stay on loan in the SPL or the Premiership and then see next season. However, I suspect that Stokes is looking for a chance this season because of the goals he's scored and the hype surrounding him. Wenger does not have a place for him at the moment and I think he is being fair to Stokes by giving him the option to either go out on loan again and try next season (anything can happen in the meanwhile) or leave in order to get guaranteed first team football elsewhere. I think that is much fairer for the player than keeping him in the reserves when he's ready for regular football, but not quite right for AFC at this time.

Anonymous said...

I like Wenger's response to the sale - he doesn't want to stand in the way of Stokes' development. Another manager would act selfishly and either; hedge his bets can keep him for the season, or loan him out again to pump up the price.
Wenger sees an good opportunity for a young man (a starting spot in a premiership club is pretty good for a 19-year-old) and tells him to go for it. I love that guy.

Andrew Gilfrin said...

You need to realise who is driving the sale, it's not Wenger or Arsenal but Stokes himself. No doubt he has sat down with Arsene for a discussion about his future which would have resulted in him telling Stokes his chances were limited.

I'm sure Arsenal would be happy to let Stokes say and play in the reserves but I'm sure the reverse is not true, having played regular first team football he will want to be involved in first team football something he simply won't get if he stays at Arsenal.

Anonymous said...

grammarboy and gilf have it exactly right. The players that go out on loan do so at their own request, not of the clubs insistence. They want a clear opportunity at first team football right away, they are good enough to play first team football elsewhere and Wenger is not crass enough to stand in their way and prevent them from moving on if they so desire. I firmly believe that for many there is a place in the club and they will get their opportunity if they are patient. Jermaine has never shown anything, but his patience has been repaid with first team opportunitities and it would be the same for the others if they wanted to stay. Also, I mean their agents probably also pressure them for a transfer because the fees generate a lot of income for them, so all the momentum is there for them to leave. I firmly believe that if Bentley was patient enough, he would have being starting a fair number of games this season, but he has people talking in his ear about how good he is and how he should be playing right away. Cesc only broke into the first team because we lost Edu and Gilberto had that terrible broken back and we had no one else. Wenger had to throw him in there reluctantly and he was a surprise to everyone. If Edu had stayed, he probably would never have gotten such an opportunity. It truly was just a fluke.

Alo, I take exception to the Buffon "prima-donna" behavior jibe, especially since Mad Jens is our keeper. I mean come on. Think how silly it sounds to complain, when our own keeper is Mad Jens. I have nothing else to say about that.

Anonymous said...

All the goals from the game here.

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