Three Arsenal youngster have been named amongst the best Premier League to Championship loan deals following the closure of the emergency loan window on Thursday, according to Sky Sports.
Defender Semi Ayaji, goalkeeper Emi Martinez and Chuba Akpom have all been given the opportunity to shine at second-tier sides as we head towards the end of the season and below we look at just what prospect the three will have of returning to the first-team and competing come the end of the season and heading into the next campaign.
Emi Martinez: Rotherham
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Martinez already showed his potential this season in the absence of both Szczesny and Ospina putting in a number of astute and commanding displays for such a young keeper by keeping cleans sheets against the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Southampton.
Though he has found playing time hard to come by since December this is through no fault of his own and a spell away is surely the best move for a player who has seemingly outgrown the U-21 level and is raring for more first-team opportunities.
Given the confusion over the current goalkeeping pecking order and what the situation is with Szczesny, expect Martinez to be right back in the mix come pre-season.
Semi Ajayi: Cardiff
For Ajayi, however, it’s a different story. The move to Cardiff rather than for any benefit to the club is being used as a potential shop window for the 21-year-old whose contract is unlikely to be renewed before it expires at the end of this season.
He was named on the bench in the Premier League this season and in the Capital One Cup but was never afforded the opportunity to play with the first team competitively – he just hasn’t done enough to convince the club he should stay.
If he impresses in south Wales it could be the preamble to a potential permanent move in the summer.
Chuba Akpom: Nottinham Forest
Perhaps the most exciting and significant loan move from the youth ranks was Chuba Akpom who was reportedly being chased by up to seven clubs before finally choosing Nottingham Forest.
Akpom has seen a meteoric rise in his Arsenal stock this season, making seven first team appearances, which convinced him to sign a new four-and-a-half year deal that will keep him here until 2019.
At the start of the season it was hard to see just how he would get a sniff of a chance, but following the loan and likely permanent departure of Lukas Podolski in the summer as well as the question marks over Theo Walcott and Yaya Sanogo, Akpom’s time with Forest could be the making of his Arsenal career and give him the push he needs to break into the first-team permanently next season.