Takehiro Tomiyasu had a brilliant first season but returned from injury. Cedric has his moments but won’t bring the team back to Champions League positions. The club have an increased match load returning to Europe and a new right-back remains on most supporters’ wish list. It would be great to have a talented young full-back putting pressure on Cedric for that second role.
Ryan Alebiosu could fit into this mold one day, but he’s not there yet. After progressing well at the Arsenal Academy, he got his first taste of top-flight football last season. Alebiosu will now embark on a full season loan spell in the Scottish Premiership with Kilmarnock. Interestingly, he spent the majority of his time playing at right-back for the U18s/U23s. But he was also productive in the right midfield role – seven assists in 17 appearances.
One of several Gunners who rose from the academy before the age of ten to first-team matchday duty. After a few appearances as a substitute in the 18/19 season, Alebiosu became a regular U18 starter in the 19/20 season. This led to his promotion to the U23s for 20/21 where he was the main right-back. Then last season he scored his first U23 goal, provided seven assists and made the bench for Arsenal for their game against Burnley in January. He was transferred to Crewe Alexandra in Ligue 1 but only managed six appearances after a long absence with a back injury.
Last season Kilmarnock won the Scottish Championship (second tier) to earn promotion to the top flight. The club secured the title by just two points thanks to a league goals-against record. Much like Fulham in the Premier League, it was up and down for Kilmarnock who had become a top-flight stalwart until that relegation. After failing to make an impact in Ligue 1 last season, Alebiosu will be keen to get his career back on track.