Jay-Emmanuel Thomas is one of a number of talented Arsenal youngsters currently out on loan.Written by George McNeil: All the plaudits for Arsenal following the enthralling first-leg victory over Barcelona were, deservedly aimed towards 19 year old Englishman Jack Wilshere. Pundits and fans alike eulogised about the potential of the youngster ahead of the European Championships in 2012. Special praise was reserved to his manager Arsene Wenger who gushed:

“He was outstanding tonight. Jack (Wilshere) wasn’t fazed by the occasion. In the difficult periods when we were under pressure he took the ball and kept the ball. He played really well.”

High praise indeed, against the best side in the world, and all this from a player who just 12 months before that emphatic display was under the tutelage of Owen Coyle whilst on loan at Bolton Wanderers. The 6 months spent at the Reebok Stadium allowed Wilshere to gain the experience and maturity to progress to the Arsenal first team this season. Another player, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who put in an assured display against the Catalan giants, was plying his trade at League One Brentford at the same time Wilshere was at Bolton. Their rapid progressions have been aided by first team football on loan, so here we will examine whether other Arsenal players on loan can make similar impacts.

We start with Kyle Bartley, a widely admired young English centre back who joined Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers in 2007. He was part of the FA Youth Cup winning team of 2009 alongside Jack Wilshere and is highly rated by the staff at the Emirates. Bartley has had successful loan spells at Sheffield United and is currently at Rangers in the SPL. Bartley is an imposing defender, and has gained rave reviews from those who have witnessed his performances in Scotland. He recently scored the winner from a header against St. Mirren and was named Man of the Match. It would be hard to argue that Bartley’s loan hasn’t given him the experience to become an Arsenal first team player.

Click here to head to the next page and find out more about Arsenal’s loan stars

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  • BarryBishop says:

    Excellent informative piece. I’m excited about young Ryo.
    But what about Carlos Vela, Afobe and Watt?

  • George McNeil says:

    Thanks Barry. I think Vela is a very good player, just I doubt that he has the fight and drive to become a truly great player.

    Benik Afobe is a very promising young player, and is playing well at Huddersfield, but I think it is a little too early to talk about him coming into the first team. Maybe in a years time or two he will start ‘knocking on the door’.

    Sanchez Watt played a large part in Arsenal’s FAYC success in 2009 and is rated highly by Wenger. He looked good for Leeds at the Emirates, and has lots of talent, but I think he is just short of being an Arsenal player.

  • GeraldWise says:

    You’re on to something Barry. Benik Afobe is ripe for success.

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