Five players are currently away from Arsenal on loan. Swiss international defender Johan Djourou will be getting valuable Premiership experience after joining newly-promoted Birmingham City until January. Elsewhere, defender Matthew Connolly will spend the entire campaign at Championship club Colchester United while Kerrea Gilbert and Jay Simpson will be in League One with Southend United and Millwall respectively. Promising Mexican striker Carlos Vela will play his football in Spain with La Liga side Osasuna.

Keep up-to-date with the fortunes of all our loan stars in our regular Loan Watch.

Jay Simpson
Millwall 2-3 Oldham Athletic, December 15
A topsy-turvy afternoon for Jay Simpson as the youngster netted for Millwall before being dismissed as a result of his celebration. Simpson's strike cancelled out the first of three Lee Hughes goals for Oldham, and Zak Whitbread even put the Lions in front just before the break.  However two goals in the last 16 minutes by Hughes ensured Oldham left with the points. Neal Eardley was sent off late on for the visitors.

Matthew Connolly
Colchester United 1-1 Norwich City, December 15
A hard-fought encounter at Layer Road eventually saw Colchester and Norwich share the points. Matt Connolly was involved throughout and it seemed his U's side had done enough through Kevin McLeod's 78th minute goal. But, in stoppage time, Danny Granville put through his own net leaving Colchester in the bottom three, a point behind the Canaries.

Johan Djourou
Birmingham City 1-1 Reading, December 15
Alex McLeish continued his fine start to life at the Birmingham City helm, although Johan Djourou did not feature in the 1-1 win over Reading. Former Chelsea man Mikael Forssell bundled the ball over the line to open the scoring for the Blues after just four minutes. But Stephen Hunt converted a penalty after half-time to leave both sides still perilously close to the drop zone.

Carlos Vela
Real Madrid 2-0 Osasuna, December 16
Carlos Vela played throughout the 90 minutes as Osasuna travelled to the Bernabeau to face league leaders Real Madrid. Former Manchester United man Ruud van Nistelrooy put the hosts in front after a quarter of an hour and, despite a gritty display from the lowly visitors, they were eventually beaten 2-0, Wesley Sneijder grabbing the second.

Kerrea Gilbert
Swansea City 3-0 Southend United, December 15
Another quiet afternoon for Kerrea Gilbert as he failed to make the squad for the 3-0 mauling by league leaders Swansea. The Shrimpers travelled to Wales looking to move within touching distance of the automatic promotion places but were humbled by the impressive Swans. Warren Feeney put the hosts ahead and the visitors' task became harder when Nick Bailey was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Angel Rangel and Thomas Butler both netted after the break, while Swansea's Andy Robinson missed a penalty.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Dec 2007