There is just over a month to go until the transfer window closes and there is still much work for Arsenal to do with regards to their U21 squad.
At present it is clear that the squad is too large, so there could be a significant amount of loan departures and perhaps some permanent moves before the end of August.
Two players who certainly shouldn’t be playing U21 football this season are Matt Smith and James Olayinka. Both players have been on loan previously and Smith has amassed over 80 appearances in League One.
Smith and Olayinka both progressed all the way through the system at Hale End and have been on the bench for the first-team, but at the age of 21 it is perhaps time for them to move on permanently. If a buyer cannot be found then they could be loaned out again.
George Lewis is 22 years old but his case is slightly different as injuries have affected his time at Arsenal. The club gave him a contract extension this summer, so a loan move could follow.
There are plenty of other youngsters who need to go on loan. Miguel Azeez surprisingly wasn’t loaned out again in the second half of last season after returning from Portsmouth, while Ben Cottrell has yet to be loaned out due to his struggles with injuries.
Winger Kido Taylor-Hart is another player who would benefit from a spell elsewhere, while Salah-Eddine is also a candidate for a temporary departure. Brooke Norton-Cuffy did well at Lincoln and could be loaned out again.
There are other players who should be considered for loans too, such as James Hillson, Mazeed Ogungbo and perhaps Jack Henry-Francis.
Charlie Patino could remain with Arsenal for the first half of the season before perhaps being loaned out thereafter.
In summary, Arsenal have much work to do in terms of reducing the size of their U21 squad in order to allow other players to push on.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird