Arsenal are interested in Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet this summer, but the Gunners have only loaned five players over the past 10 years without then sealing a permanent deal.
Rarely have the north London outfit secured temporary transfers since the summer of 2012 when striving to strengthen the side. Instead, Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta have favoured permanent arrangements. But the latter may well soon divert from his policy.
That’s because Sport report Arsenal have contacted Barcelona to discuss the club’s interest in Lenglet moving to the Emirates Stadium. The centre-half no longer baulks at the prospect of leaving the Camp Nou on a temporary basis, having fallen heavily out of favour this term.
Arsenal are interested in summer transfer for Clement Lenglet of Barcelona
Lenglet is among the many fringe stars Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez is willing to let go this summer. The Frenchman featured just 21 times following the Blaugrana icon’s return to the club to replace Ronald Koeman. He also only started seven of his outings in all competitions.
A lack of games under the Spaniard has left Lenglet reconsidering his reluctance to accept all moves away. Several clubs in England and Italy are willing to discuss deals, as well. But the defender’s wages of more than €10m-a-year (£164k-a/w) rules out a €15m (£13m) transfer.
He also still baulks at a permanent move away in favour of proving to Xavi that he can have a future in Catalunya. So, a loan is the most viable move for Lenglet to leave Barcelona with Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle and Tottenham interested after holding talks over his situation.
Arteta pushing Arsenal’s interest to the front and loaning Lenglet from Barcelona would see the 26-year-old become just the sixth player to temporarily join the Gunners over the last 10 years. So, how did the last five players to spend short spells in north London go on to fare…
Lenglet would hope for better Arsenal loan amid interest than Mat Ryan enjoyed
Lenglet would hope to enjoy a more productive loan spell with Arsenal than Mat Ryan had if Arteta’s interest convinces him to leave Barcelona this summer. The Australian only enjoyed three appearances with the Gunners after joining on a short-term loan deal in January 2021.
Arteta agreed to sign the shot-stopper from Brighton & Hove Albion in the winter market to provide cover for Bernd Leno. It would leave Ryan to watch 12 Premier League games, eight Europa League ties and one FA Cup fixture from the bench between his sporadic appearances.
Ryan had lost first-choice status at Brighton the season of his temporary transfer to Arsenal, like Lenglet at Barcelona now. He left the Amex Stadium having not played in seven Premier League games following a drastic downturn in form that saw him concede 19 goals in 11 games.
Arsenal would not complete a permanent transfer for Ryan when his loan deal with Brighton expired. The 30-year-old instead moved to Spain with Real Sociedad, where Ryan played just nine games this season. Just three of his outings also came in La Liga as a clear number two.
Dani Ceballos won FA Cup with Arsenal before fall from grace in north London
Unai Emery agreed a season-long deal with Real Madrid for Dani Ceballos in June 2021 that Arteta extended the following year. But the Spaniard suffered a fall from grace during his second season in north London, before returning to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer.
Ceballos helped Arsenal win the FA Cup during his first term with a starting role in the final against Chelsea. The Wembley showpiece was his fifth FA Cup outing that season and 37th in all competitions. It also marked his 23rd start after regularly holding an important role.
Yet what Arteta saw from Ceballos to prolong his stay faded in his second season, despite the 25-year-old featuring 40 times. He also started 25 games, but struggled to show why toward the end – often failing to make an impact in matches and lacking much central bite.
Arsenal will hope Lenglet is no Denis Suarez repeat amid interest in Barcelona fringe star
Arsenal will hope that Lenglet does not prove to be a repeat of Denis Suarez amid Arteta’s interest in the Barcelona fringe star. Suarez spent the second half of the 2018/19 season on loan in north London, but failed to make the grade by some margin at the Emirates Stadium.
Emery agreed to cover the midfielder’s £60k-a-week salary in full to bring him in as a winter upgrade. Yet Suarez managed just six appearances for a combined 95 minutes and he never started a match. His Gunners career also ended on March 10 after suffering a groin injury.
Barcelona would sell Suarez to Celta Vigo in June 2019 for €15m (£13m) upon his return to Spain. The midfielder is still at the Estadio de Balaidos now, and has made 105 appearances – the most he has managed with one club ahead of the 71 he managed with the Blaugrana.
Wenger admitted he would not have signed Kim Kallstrom had he known about his injury
Kim Kallstrom joined Arsenal on a six-month loan from Spartak Moscow in January 2014. But Wenger admitted within days of his deadline day deal that he would not have sanctioned his move had the former Gunners boss known sooner that the Swede was nursing a back injury.
“It crossed my mind to not do the deal,” Wenger said via quotes by BBC Sport at the time. “I wouldn’t have signed him if we had another two or three days, but it was on Friday at 5pm.”
Kallstrom would have to wait until March to play the first of what would only be four games for Arsenal. He also only started once and was not in the squad for the FA Cup final against Hull City, following his Gunners career-high moment of scoring in the semi-final shoot-out.
Emiliano Viviano rarely warmed Emirates bench during loan from Palermo
Emiliano Viviano joined Arsenal on loan from Serie A side Palermo in September 2013. But the goalkeeper’s time in north London would only see him warm the bench at the Emirates. Wenger would ultimately let the Italian leave after failing to play a single game for the club.
He rarely warmed the bench, either, having only featured in nine squads in all competitions. Only twice did Wenger include the shot-stopper as the backup for a Premier League match, as well. Viviano watched just the second and 33rd games of the season as the third-choice.
So, as Lenglet intends to return to Barcelona at the end of any loan transfer, history would suggest a temporary move to Arsenal would not be ideal for the Frenchman or the Gunners amid Arteta’s interest.