Celebrating the players that are loaned, loaned and loaned again

by Tony Attwood

Being a supporter, rather than someone with that much particular inside knowledge of what is happening, I have become fascinated with players who seem to make almost an entire career from going on loan.  And I think of it on this day because it is the anniversary of Joel Campbell being sold by Arsenal

I thought that maybe the guy would at last settle down – as after seven different loan spells he was finally transferred to Frosinone for their season in Italy’s top division.  But with them not doing so well he was off in 2019 once more on loan to León in Mexico’s top division.   Here is his record from the moment he joined Arsenal…

Season Club Games Goals
2011–2018 Arsenal 23 3
2011–2012 Lorient (loan) 25 3
2011–2012 Lorient II (loan) 5 1
2012–2013 Betis (loan) 28 2
2013–2014 Olympiacos (loan) 32 8
2015 Villarreal (loan) 16 1
2016–2017 Sporting CP (loan) 19 3
2017–2018 Betis (loan) 8 2
2018– Frosinone 17 0
2019– León (loan) 21 4

He’s not the only player I’ve seen with a record like this – some just seem to travel from club to club.  And what interests me is how it is that they manage to keep finding clubs.  Surely it must be apparent that there is something a little different about this player that makes him keep being moved on.   But these are the ways of football.  One might even say, its a funny old game.

Here are the anniversaries…   Details of the various series that we are published and our books are to be found on the home page.

17 August 1896: Andrew Young born.  He was signed by Knighton in 1921 from Aston Villa.  He played 68 games for the club up to 1926/7.

17 August 1909.  Wilf Copping born.  He became a miner while playing for local teams and tried for a place with Barnsley in 1929, but failed to get in the team.  He kept on trying and later in the year he signed for Leeds United of the first division.

17 August 1911: A national railway workers strike started and in riots relating to this strike two men were shot dead by soldiers.   Magistrates’ homes were attacked and four more people were killed.

17 August 1917: One of the most extraordinary meetings of literary geniuses occurred at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh when Wilfred Owen introduced himself to Siegfried Sassoon.

17 August 1922: The regular pre-season friendly between Arsenal reserves and the first team was almost certainly played on this date.  Meanwhile in Ireland Dublin Castle was handed over to the Irish Republican Army as the final British troops left Irish soil.  It was a momentous occasion especially as many senior politicians objected strongly to giving up part of the “home country” and it was arranged by the Conservative and Unionist Party.

17 August 1956: John Kosmina born.  He played for Polonia and then West Adelaide, before signing for Arsenal in February 1978.  He only played once for Arsenal, but then had a successful career back in Australia first as a player, then as a coach.

17 August 1970: Match 2 from the first Double season.  WHU 0 Arsenal 0 thus making it played 2, drawn 2, showing that one should never draw too many conclusions from the opening games.

17 August 1971:  Huddersfield 0 Arsenal 1.  The  attendance was a paltry 21,279.  Arsenal took the route of efficiency rather than fine football to beat Huddersfield, dominating the game, but taking no risks.   They could have won by three or four but it looked as if the side were under orders to hold the back line and wait.

17 August 1974: Arsenal beat Leicester 0-1 away in what was the first of no less than seven matches against Leicester in League and FA Cup during the season. See also here.

17 August 1977: Thierry Henry born in Essonne, Paris and played for various local sides.  He was spotted by AS Monaco in 1990 and signed immediately.  After retiring from playing he went into coached and managed Monaco in 2018/19 although with very little success.

17 August 1977: Pat Howard transferred to Birmingham City for £40,000.  He had made 15 starts and 1 sub appearance for Arsenal during his one year in the club but had slipped down the order after the arrival of Willie Young.  See also here

17 August 1984: Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Arsenal 1 (Allinson).  The last game of a poor pre-season in which Arsenal won two games, lost two more and drew this one.

17 August 1990: Steve Gatting’s testimonial match.  Brighton 2 Arsenal 2.  He had played 58 games for Arsenal and by the time he left Brighton had played 316 games for them.

17 August 1991: Arsenal 1 QPR 1 (Merson scoring in the 90th minute) in the first game of the season.  This was most disappointing as Arsenal were champions having won the league the previous season despite the ludicrous removal of two points for some argybargy at Old Trafford.

17 August 2009: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas loaned to Blackpool.  He played 11 games for them before moving on to loan spells with Doncaster and Cardiff.  His longest spell was with Bristol City and most recently was playing in Thailand.

17 August 2012: Thomas Vermaelen promoted to club captain and Mikel Arteta to vice-captaincy.  Arteta took over as captain after Vermaelen’s departure, but both suffered significant injuries following their acceptance of the captaincy.

17 August 2013: Arsenal lost the first match of the season to Villa at home 1-3 amid referee decisions so odd that even the press started mentioning them.  Arsenal won the next five to go top of the league where they remained apart from one week until 8 February.

17 August 2016: Tafari Moore loaned to Jong FC Utrecht for the season.  He moved to Plymouth in 2018.

17 August 2018: Joel Campbell sold to Frosinone and Stephy Mavididi sold to Juventus. David Ospina was loaned to Napoli signing for them permanently in 2019.

One Reply to “Celebrating the players that are loaned, loaned and loaned again”

  1. Anyone know where Steve Gatting is coaching now after his short stint at Stevenage earlier in the year?

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