Arsene Wenger let seven players leave the club on Deadline Day including potential future first-team stars like Gedion Zelalem and Krystian Bielik. The pair were joined by a number of other of youth squad members heading for the exit (via Arsenal.com).
Deadline Day was a particularly forgettable one for the Gunners on the pitch but off it, they were more than a little busy. Seven youth players left the club on loan including a number of stars who featured for Arsenal in their pre-season matches.
Gedion Zelalem is the standout name on the list. The United States Under-23 international completed his loan move to VVV Venlo in the Eerste Divisie, the second highest tier of football in the Netherlands. The 20-year-old spent much of last season on loan at Rangers and will be hoping to impress again.
The other high-profile player to head for the exit door is Krystian Bielik. The centre-back only joined the Gunners in 2015 but has since established himself in the Arsenal youth team and made a number of appearances for the first-team in pre-season. He joins Birmingham City on loan until the end of the season.
Arsenal’s newest international star will also spend the rest of the season away from the Emirates. Ismael Bennacer was a late call-up to the Algerian national team for the African Cup of Nations but after his team was knocked out, he has joined Ligue 2 side Tours on loan.
The other youth team players to head for the exit door are Stephy Mavididi who goes to Charlton, Kaylen Hinds who heads for Stevenage, Matt Macey who has joined Luton and Marc Bola who will spend the rest of the season on loan at Notts County.
It’s good to see the youth players head for some first-team football. Many of the current first-team squad have gone through such loan spells and used the experience to kick on in their careers. Arsene Wenger will have high hopes for Zelalem and Bielik especially who have both shown serious quality during their time at the club.