Calum Chambers will spend the remainder of the Premier League season at Middlesbrough according to reports, after the Teessiders agreed a deal to sign the versatile England international on loan from Arsenal.
The pending arrival of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia has pushed the fledgling centre-back further down the Gunners pecking order, with the emerging Rob Holding now seemingly ahead of the Southampton academy graduate too.
Boro’s search for centre-back cover has been a protracted one, beginning after the collapse of Neven Subotic’s move from Borussia Dortmund, and it seems Aitor Karanka has opted to settle for a stopgap solution.
Chambers will provide competition to first-choice twosome Daniel Ayala and Ben Gibson, though his ability to fill in at right-back or centre-midfield, it is presumably hoped, will also prove useful.
However, if the 21-year-old’s loan stint is anything like those endured by his predecessors loaned to Arsenal’s Premier League rivals, then he’s set to spend more time on Boro’s bench than in the team.
Since the 2010/11 season, youngsters who the Gunners have loaned to less-ambitious divisional foes have tended to struggle.
Germany’s Olympics hero Serge Gnabry is the most recent example, deemed lacking the creative acumen to get in the West Bromwich Albion team by Tony Pulis, who picked him just once having borrowed him last term.
Yaya Sanogo failed to find the net in ten Premier League matches for Crystal Palace in 2014/15 and Emmanuel Frimpong made just two Fulham starts in a half-season switch during 2012/13. He had previously featured five times for Wolverhampton Wanderers in a similar deal a year earlier before injury led to its termination.
Carlos Vela’s short stay at West Brom was a little more productive, but eight appearances and two goals in 2010/11 can hardly be considered a spectacular return.
Even more established Arsenal players have found the loan going tough, with Marouane Chamakh turning out just three times in a West Ham United shirt on when on loan in 2012/13.
West Ham do provide something of an exception, with right-back Carl Jenkinson flourishing during his first short-term stay in east London. He made 36 all competitions appearances for the Irons in 2014/15 and returned for another year-long loan in 2015/16. This one wasn’t as successful, being curtailed by injury after he made 20 outings.
Nicklas Bendtner is another Arsenal youngster whose loan to a Premier League rival went relatively well. He scored eight goals in 28 games for Sunderland in 2011/12, while Jack Wilshere announced himself as a future star during his 14-match tenure at Bolton Wanderers in 2009/10.
Those aside, Premier League clubs haven’t had much to celebrate when borrowing developing talent from the Gunners this decade, which doesn’t bode well for Chambers and Boro.