Roeder eyes fantastic five

David Cuffley City boss Glenn Roeder will be quite happy to get as many as five loan players in at the start of next season - but may struggle to persuade Arsenal to part with Kieran Gibbs.

David Cuffley

City boss Glenn Roeder will be quite happy to get as many as five loan players in at the start of next season - but may struggle to persuade Arsenal to part with Kieran Gibbs.

Roeder finished the 2007-08 campaign with four players on loan, while five more - Gibbs included - came and went during his six months as manager.

But with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger suggesting he was unhappy with the amount of games some of his young players were given during spells with Championship clubs, he may be reluctant to let the 18-year-old midfielder out on another temporary deal.


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Gibbs played seven times for City, while clubmate Mark Randall started only two games during a loan spell at Burnley, and Wenger felt they were under-employed.

“They didn't play a lot and that's why it's sometimes disappointing you give them up to Championship teams and they don't play,” said Wenger.

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“You want to play for Arsenal, you have at least to play in the Championship. When you go somewhere, you are a sub, on the bench, or somewhere, you cannot come back and say 'I have to play for Arsenal', because if you don't play in the Championship team it's difficult. For me it's very important to get them out and to see them play.

“For us it's part of education, to have a period of your life to play in a team and have responsibilities and to be under pressure and show how well you can in the Championship. So it's just you get used to realise that life is not as easy as it looks in the football world.”

Wenger said he had a string of young players knocking on the door for a place in his senior squad.

He said: “There is Gibbs, Jack Wiltshire, Henri Lansbury, who might be included in the group next year. There is a core coming up but I cannot tell you now, will all of them make it.

“They have, like everybody, to fight to play, and if they are good enough they play, it's as simple as that.”

Roeder made valuable use of loan signings Ched Evans, Ryan Bertrand, Martin Taylor, Mo Camara and Alex Pearce, while Matty Pattison, originally on loan, became his only permanent signing so far. Gibbs was used more sparingly, James Henry started just one match, and Matthew Bates made three appearances before suffering a serious knee injury. Roeder also inherited Chelsea's Jimmy Smith, signed on loan by predecessor Peter Grant, but failed in a bid to extend the deal in January.

He said he was planning further loan recruits next season, even if some were not available for the August 9 kick-off.

“You might have to wait until the last week before the window closes before a manager can afford to let a lad go, even just for one window,” he said.

“We need to get in our signings first, our contracted players and leave some room for whether it be three, four, who knows, five loans at the start of the season.

“One or two people moaned about us and one or two other clubs exploiting the system but we weren't exploiting anything. We were playing within the rules, which you are allowed to do.”

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