​These were the ones who managed to get out - succeeded in escaping north London so that the atrocious season that has unfolded can't be pinned on them in any way. Well, that's not entirely true, because Arsenal Twitter always finds a way to blame Henrikh Mkhitaryan for everything.


Unlike their west London rivals, the Gunners don't have 406 players out on loan at any given time. Still, a few have temporarily departed the Emirates in search of first-team football or, at the very least, in a bid to escape the sh*tshow of a campaign it's been.


What will their eventual returns bring, though? We could see some career renaissances or hero's welcomes, but equally, they could don the red and white again and remind us all why they were shipped out in the first place.


Let's take a look, in wonderful ranking order, at how well they could do when their loan stints come to an end.


9. Dejan Iliev

Dejan Iliev

Who? Exactly.


The goalkeeper slot at ​Arsenal is one of the few areas of the pitch where there is no scope for discussion. Bernd Leno is the undisputed number one, and behind him is Emiliano Martínez, and, as it is, neither look like relinquishing those spots anytime soon.


Iliev is currently on loan at Jagiellonia Bialystok. Who? Exactly.


There doesn't seem to be much hope for the stopper, not to mention links surrounding a move for Freddie Woodman have ​resurfaced once again. Looking unlikely he'll make any impact whatsoever, barring slamming his locker on the way out.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 0/10


8. Mohamed Elneny

Ziraat Turkiye Kupasi (Turkish Cup)"Besiktas AS v BB Erzurumspor"

Nice guy, humorous character and hard worker - there is no questioning the Egyptian possesses these three traits. However, unfortunately that doesn't quite cut the mustard at Arsenal, and his loan spell away at Besiktas was largely met with joy in north London.


Even when he first joined from FC Basel in 2016 it was a move met with bemusement. There is no doubting that players plucked from obscurity can go on to become stars, but there was little to suggest in the early days that Elneny would be the answer to the Gunners' midfield woes.


Four years on and that is still the case. He simply isn't up to the level required, no matter how much effort he puts in, and the club will surely be trying to accrue a fee for the 27-year-old in the summer to boost their pitiful transfer budget.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 2/10


7. Jordi Osei-Tutu

Jordi Osei-Tutu

Having joined from Reading back in 2015, Jordi Osei-Tutu has been developing nicely in the Arsenal academy. The right-back is now 21 years old, so a taste of football outside of England seemed like a good step in his development.


He's now at 2. Bundesliga side VfL Bochum, where two goals in 12 outings have improved his chances of breaking into the senior side. That's still a stretch though, and Arsenal fans can be forgiven for not knowing he was out there in the first place. Osei-Tutu is doing well, sure, and if these performances continue there is always a chance. Just a little one, mind.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 2/10 


6. Ben Sheaf

Ben Sheaf

A player who was on the cusp of the senior side on a few occasions, Ben Sheaf's career began to stagnate. He's made two first team appearances to date, but a loan to Stevenage in 2017 failed to see him kick on and he made just ten appearances.


His latest loan stint has been far more fruitful, however, as he joined promotion chasing Doncaster Rovers in League One. There he has been an ever-present, making 32 outings from midfield, and impressing in Darren Moore's side. He appears to have found his level, and a permanent move to Yorkshire may well be on the cards in the summer.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 2/10 


5. Henrikh Mkhitaryan 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

All eyes in north London have been on the Armenian this season. Not in the hopes he rediscovers his Borussia Dortmund form and comes back a changed man, but instead that he plays well enough that Roma decide to throw some money Arsenal's way and buy him outright.


Thing is, that's what he's doing. Six goals and three assists in 13 ​Serie A outings is a fine return, so hopefully the Italian side consider this form worthy enough of a few quid. He's 31 now, and while he could still return to Arsenal, it's highly unlikely as they scramble together what funding they can.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 4/10 


4. Daniel Ballard

Portsmouth v Arsenal U21 - Checkatrade Trophy

He only signed new professional contract with Arsenal last May, meaning the future may be bright for the Swindon Town loanee.


Defenders - pardon me, decent defenders - are a rare commodity at Arsenal right now, so there will be hopes that Ballard can return from his stint with the Robins and make a challenge for the first team. How likely that is not known, but given the amount of faith shown in him by his parent club, the initial suggestions would be he's progressing steadily.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 4/10 


3. Konstantinos Mavropanos

Konstantinos Mavropanos

Fast-tracked into the first team after joining from PAS Giannina in 2018, big things were expected of the Greek defender personally chosen by Sven 'Diamond Eyes' Mislintat. He's shown glimpses of his ability, but far too infrequently, and now he's out in Germany with FC Nurnberg.


They rate him highly, though, as he was thrust straight into the starting lineup where he immediately impressed. It's another case of 'he's doing well, but is he actually good enough?'. Keep these levels of performance up and we'll see, but the door certainly isn't closed on this one.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 4/10 


2. Emile Smith Rowe

Emile Smith-Rowe

What Smith Rowe needed was a good run of games. He would have had that at RB Leipzig last season had it not been for a desperately unfortunate injury, so a January move to Huddersfield with a renewed sense of belief and clean bill of health seemed the perfect match.


Prior to football being postponed, it seemed like having the desired effect. Being played in his favoured number ten role by Danny Cowley, he's offered an insight into his unquestionable ability.


​He's still only 19 so there is both room for improvement and further development to come, but he's one Arsenal fans are backing for success.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 7/10 


1. William Saliba

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-SAINT-ETIENNE-MARSEILLE

The saviour.


He who all is being pinned on. The young French lad who has never kicked a football in the ​Premier League, yet appears to be the best defender on the planet. There is hype coming out of people's ears about William Saliba's eventual arrival at Arsenal, with the club deprived of his services this term after he was sent back on loan to Saint-Étienne as part of the agreement.


Regardless of the pressure already on his shoulders, there is no doubting that Saliba is the real deal. A commanding, immensely composed and technically gifted central defender, he will, without question, improve Mikel Arteta's backline when he joins in the summer.


Fans are naturally expectant - far too expectant, in fact - but this kid is going places. Well, north London, to be exact.


Likelihood of Making it at Arsenal: 8/10 


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