Since his promotion into the first-team around this time last year, Jeff Reine-Adelaide made six senior appearances but all were in the Cup competitions.
Unsurprisingly, questions have been asked about the talented Frenchman and whether he should be sent out on-loan to gain valuable competitive experience.
Signed from Lens’ academy two seasons ago, the 19-year-old quickly impressed many with his eyecatching displays in the Emirates Cup.
It’s not a surprise that Jeff hasn’t broken into the senior side properly as of yet, though he frequently appeared in matchday squads for Premier League fixtures.
His performance during our 5-0 win over Southampton in January, alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ainsley Maitland-Niles was an excellent one. There, his fluidity in possession and composure was evident for all to see. He has matured as a player and become more of a constant attacking threat since joining.
Next season boils down to whether Wenger sees Reine-Adelaide as the club’s next breakthrough player, or whether he feels it’d be beneficial for him to play on a weekly basis elsewhere before staking a starting claim in the years to come.
If Alex Iwobi can do it, there’s no reason why his younger midfield counterpart cannot emulate the Nigerian’s progress.
Training with the first-team on a daily basis will have helped him, but nothing prepares you like competitive football. Given the club’s depth in midfield, it’s unlikely that he would feature more often than he did last season. For that reason, it’d be beneficial to join a club out on-loan, where he’d be given first-team assurances and crucially, be able to express himself.
He has played in a variety of different positions with mixed success, though a role in central midfield or further forward as a number ten suits him better than on either flank.
Championship side Leeds, who finished in seventh place last term and narrowly missed out on a play-off place, have recently been linked with a possible move.
His tall, imposing frame means that he could quickly become accustomed to the challenge of Championship football on a weekly basis in a similar manner to Krystian Bielik’s success at Birmingham.
Having sustained a season-ending injury in April, he’ll be eager to enjoy a beneficial pre-season campaign before deciding the next step.
It’s important that his progression does not stagnate and a loan move could help develop him further.