Arsenal have a squad that is consistently being trimmed and improved. However, it is very easy to lose track of just who and who isn’t still at the club.
For the most part, the Arsenal first team and senior group are all very well-known by the club’s supporters. Even players who have not played in some time such as Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin and Reiss Nelson have all been heavily linked with moves away and so could hardly qualify.
Therefore, with the exception of one, the Arsenal list pertains to some of the exciting talents, or at least once thought as that, that remain at the club. Some have been out of the limelight due to loans, others through injury.
Alex Runar Runarsson
The list begins with the Icelandic keeper whose senior career at Arsenal could not have gone worse. From fumbling a Riyad Mahrez strike that cost Arsenal a place in the League Cup semi-final to an unassured performance against Dundalk in the Europa League, this was a signing that certainly has gone against Mikel Arteta.
Alex Runarsson spent the season on loan with OH Leuven in Belgium where, besides an injury, he impressed and was even nominated for player of the season. It is unlikely Leuven will be able to afford the asking price of Runarsson, but he will almost certainly leave this summer.
It is possible that Catalin Cirjan has not gone under your radar of late thanks to the announcement that the Romanian had signed a new contract with the club. A serious knee injury stole the season away from Cirjan.
It is expected that the 19-year-old will come back to fight the best in the Arsenal Under-23s squad next season. Had the hype around this youngster not have been believed, it is unlikely a new deal would have been extended and therefore highlights that Cirjan is not one you should forget about any time soon. There is no uncertainty therefore over this starlet’s future.
Signed as one of the big pushes to bring in talent from the continent before the effects of Brexit made the process all that more difficult for Arsenal. The now 21-year-old, soon to turn 22 later this month, George Lewis looks a player where his youth career is extending now into his early twenties.
It might be that a move away from Arsenal will be the best outcome. Injury took away plenty of chances to impress but with so many exciting talents in a similar wide position, there seems little hope for a future in north London.
Described as ‘the next Ibrahimovic’ prior to his arrival, Nikolaj Moller was showing all the signs of what a player needed to to get a chance in the senior team. Consistent goals for the Under-23s playing alongside Folarin Balogun earned him the chance of a loan.
However, moving to the German third-tier side Viktoria Koln was a reality check for the Swede. He failed to score in any of his 3.Liga appearances and was recalled in January. He then left for Dutch second-tier side FC Den Bosch where it has gone slightly better. Two goals and an assist in the league whilst becoming the starting striker was a good experience. However, there is a clear quality chasm between the 19-year-old and the Arsenal first team at present.
There was genuinely so much promise around Tyreece John-Jules. He had a good record in the youth side and was at the point where loan experience was necessary. However, injuries, like so many players before and surely after, have plagued the now 21-year-old.
His stint at Doncaster in 2020/21 was hit by a torn muscle problem. Then a loan to Championship side Blackpool proved too big a challenge as he failed to find the net. He was recalled and loan to League One side Sheffield Wednesday where he main one appearance before getting injured again and failed to play again all season meaning he went without a goal in 2021/22.
The time might be up for John-Jules. Players such as Folarin Balogun have overtaken him and Mika Biereth is scoring at a far greater rate for the Under-23s. He needs stability at a lower league side to get his career back on track.