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Maitland-Niles disappoints as Mavropanos impresses again: How Arsenal’s 17 players on loan fared this week

By on March 23, 2021 0

It was a good weekend for Arsenal who secured their first away win against a Premier League top three side for 15 years with a 3-1 win over Leicester.

But away from the King Power, the Gunners had 17 players on loan vying for minutes in European leagues and the English football pyramid.

Some of them are looking for first-team opportunities after falling out of favor in Mikel Artetawhile others seek to progress in their development.

Loans have worked well for Arsenal in the past, with the first current players Emile Smith Rowe and Hector Bellerin having spent time away from the Emirates in the past.

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So now it’s time to check back and see how the Gunners’ loan stars got on well over the past weekend for their various clubs.

Joe Willock

Joe Willock were able to get another 90 minutes under their belt as Newcastle took a big step to safety with a point against Wolves.

The 21-year-old isn’t necessarily known for his ability on the ball, but he was able to record an impressive passing success rate of 90%.

With that, he made two key passes and completed two more dribbles.

It was even more impressive considering he only touched the ball 43 times, showing just how effective he was in possession.

Compare that to Jonjo Shelvey who almost doubled the number of assists with 79 but only made one more key assist in the game.

Ainsley Maitland Niles

The fourth time turned out to be the charm for Ainsley Maitland Niles as he picked up his first victory since his loan spell at West Brom with the Baggies beating Brighton 1-0.

The match was somewhat overshadowed by a series of controversial decisions from referee Lee Mason, but under the radar the England international played another performance in central midfield rather than at the back.

The display was mixed with Maitland-Niles achieving the most on-field dribbles of any player but also being stripped second most of his West Brom team-mates.

With Xhaka Granite currently showing his best form in an Arsenal shirt and Thomas Partey making his latest return from injury, the 23-year-old will need to do more if he is to prove he is an option for Mikel Arteta in the middle of the park.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles challenges for the ball with Yves Bissouma (Photo by CLIVE MASON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Guillaume Saliba

All around Saliba nice performance from Nice against Rennes.

Unfortunately for the 19-year-old, the clip circulating the internet was of him giving the ball away before Martin Terrier’s superb strike.

Playing at the back is one aspect of his game that Saliba needs to work on if he is to become a success at Arsenal.

However, one-on-one defending is something he seems to have nailed as the Frenchman is yet to be dribbled past in his 10 Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Mavropanos Dinos

Mavropanos is getting better and better during his loan spell at Stuttgart.

Facing his former Arsenal teammates Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafiit was the Greek defender who stood out the most as his side beat Schalke 5-1.

Mavropanos was solid defensively, winning 100% of his aerial duels and tackles, but he was also calm on the ball completing 84% of his passes.

There is a place opening up in the center half most likely in the Arsenal squad with David Luiz‘s expiring contract, and the future of Calum Rooms and William Saliba uncertain.

If Mavropanos keeps playing like this, he could be the one to fill it.

Matteo Guendouzi

Guendouzi fell somewhat out of favor after a decent start to life at Hertha Berlin.

The Frenchman was one of former coach Bruno Labbadia’s favorites but following his sacking new coach Pal Dardai hasn’t quite taken on the same shine, recently claiming the 21-year-old is a “rebel who “must learn”.

However, he could be placed for more playing time after the World Cup Sami Khedira limped off against Wolfsburg with injury.

Guendouzi replaced the German and got 37 more minutes under his belt. He couldn’t prevent his side from succumbing to a 2-0 loss, however, which leaves Hertha out of the bottom three on goal difference alone.

Wolfsburg’s German midfielder Ridle Baku (L) and Hertha Berlin’s French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi battle for the ball during the German Bundesliga first division soccer match VfL Wolfsburg vs Hertha Berlin in Wolfsburg, northern Germany, February 27, 2021. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / Various Sources / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images )

Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira had a reunion with his former manager Unai Emery as Atletico Madrid took on Villareal.

It was, however, very brief as the Uruguayan was thrown onto the pitch just seven minutes from time after Atleti had already taken a two-goal lead.

Torreira has not started for Diego Simeone’s side since late January.

Zech Medley

It was a bit of a rollercoaster afternoon for Zech Medley.

The 20-year-old who made his first-team debut under Unai Emery was initially guilty of giving the ball away in the build-up to a goal for Dundee United who threatened to extend Kilmarnock’s losing streak to eight.

He then made amends by scoring a vital equalizer for Killie’s first goal in 571 minutes of SPL action to bring them one point closer to safety.

Daniel Ballard

Ballard was able to keep a clean sheet as Blackpool ran out 3-0 wins in their mid-table League One clash with Charlton.

The Northern Ireland international has played well in every way, earning a rating of 7.3.

Former Arsenal youngster Chuks Aneke was sent off in the game.

Matt Smith

At the other end of the field, Matt Smith was part of a triple half-time substitution for Lee Bowyer as Charlton looked to turn the tide against Blackpool.

He couldn’t do much to influence the game and ended up with a WhoScored rating of just 5.8.

The midfielder was neat on the ball, however, registering a 90.9% success rate per pass.

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Harry Clark

Clarke made another solid change at the back for Oldham, taking his total appearances for the Latics this season to 22.

The League Two side ran out of 3-1 wins over Carlisle to move 10 points clear of relegation out of the football league.

Not in action: Jordi Osei-Tutu (Cardiff), Ben Sheaf (Coventry), Joseph Olowu (Wealdstone), Mark McGuinness (Ipswich), James Olayinka (Southend), Tyreece John-Jules (Lincoln)