By Chris Harris
Three young Gunners have gone on trial at Nottingham Forest in search of regular first-team football.
Defenders Abu Ogogo and Paul Rodgers and midfielder James Dunne have been mainstays of Neil Banfield's Reserve squad over the past two seasons but their path to the first team is blocked by a string of top-class internationals.
The trio missed out on last month's Carling Cup victory over Sheffield United but the Club's mission to help each and every youngster forge a career in professional football has seen the players head north to the City Ground.
"The Club has made the decision that they will let them go out and trial with other clubs," Banfield told Arsenal.com. "It is between us and the players and how we see their future.
"Nottingham Forest have said they will have a look at them for 10 days and let them play in their reserves, with a view maybe to offering them a contract. We try to help them every way we can.
"At the moment we don't know what the all-round situation is but they have been allowed to go up there to work with [Forest manager] Colin Calderwood.
"We like to look out for all our players at the Club and if it maybe isn’t going to happen for them here we try to get them a place at another club as soon as we can to help them on their way in their career."
Even if Ogogo, Rodgers and Dunne are not offered contracts by Forest, it doesn't necessarily mean they have reached the end of the road at Arsenal. As Banfield points out, the Club's coaching staff will give them every chance to prove themselves.
"It's not the end for them here," he said. "If it doesn’t work out for them at Forest they will come back and carry on training and we will try to help them. If they play well then who knows but we are just giving them another opportunity.
"If they come back they will be available for selection. We have got quite a few lads that we feel might have to find another club to get their first team experience so we allow them to go out but if they come back they are straight back into the fold.
"They carry on working and then maybe the trip away will spur them on here or they will have another go at another club."Copyright 2017 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