Every season a number of Arsenal players go out on loan to gain valuable first-team experience and the 2010/11 campaign was no different.
Arsenal.com have tracked the progress of the loanees throughout the season and our ‘Loan Review’ series will examine each player in turn. Today we focus on Vito Mannone.
Vito joined Championship side Hull on a short-team deal in October and was initially expected to return to Arsenal in January.
The 22-year-old excelled at the KC Stadium and didn’t experience defeat in seven games before the deal was extended until the end of the season at the start of January.
He endured a two-month spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury but returned in April to help Hull to a 3-1 win over Doncaster, pulling off a series of vital saves. The goal Vito conceded in that victory was only the sixth time he had been beaten in over 13 hours of football.
Hull took 21 points from the ten games the Arsenal loanee featured in before a shoulder problem ended his season prematurely in April.
Nick Wood of the Hull Daily Mail:
“He came in January, has done exceptionally well ever since and he seems to have enjoyed it. I know, from speaking to him, that manager Nigel Pearson has been very impressed with him. Pearson said that Mannone was the first-choice goalkeeper when he was fit.
“Unfortunately, he got an injury and that led to Hull getting another loan goalkeeper, Brad Guzan from Aston Villa. Mannone then came back but suffered another injury. But the time he did play coincided with Hull’s resurgence in form and he would have been responsible for them getting to within touching distance of the play-offs.
“He commands his area very well, he is a good shot-stopper, his distribution is very good and he looked the part. With him behind the back four, Hull let in very few goals and, when he was in the team, they had their best run of form.
“Hull went on a record-breaking run of 17 away games without suffering defeat and he was very much a part of that. With him behind the back four they were extremely hard to beat in that period.
“Up until the end of April, Hull were a formidable side and looked like they were going to make the play-offs. They ran out of steam and that was without him in the team. If he had stayed in the team they probably would have had a better chance.”Copyright 2013 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 26 May 2011