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Loan Watch: Saliba, Willock, Guendouzi and more

William Saliba

Thirteen of our players were in action for their respective loan clubs over the weekend - but how did they perform? Read on to find out:

Dinos Mavropanos picked up a win and a clean sheet for Stuttgart on Saturday in their Bundesliga clash against Cologne. Our Greek defender played 84 minutes as his loan side secured a vital 1-0 win. The result leaves Stuttgart 10th in the table after 22 games. 

Sead Kolasinac played the full 90 minutes as Schalke lost 4-0 to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. The result means his loan side are without a win since January 9. Goals from Jadon Sancho, Raphael Guerreiro and a brace from Erling Haaland sent Dortmund on their way to an emphatic victory.  

William Saliba played the full game as Nice lost 2-1 to Metz at home. Boubakar Kouyate and Lamine Gueye scored for the visitors before Amine Gouiri got one back on the hour mark.
 

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Matteo Guendouzi came off the bench in the 68th minute but was unable to help Hertha Berlin turn around their match against RB Leipzig at home. Goals from Marcel Sabitzer, Nordi Mukiele and Willi Orban were enough to secure a comfortable 3-0 win for Leipzig at the Olympiastadion. 

Lucas Torreira came off the bench to replace Geoffrey Kondogbia in the 61st minute on Saturday as Atletico Madrid lost 2-0 to Levante at home. An own goal from Mario Hermoso and a late strike from Jorge de Frutos saw Diego Simeone's fall to only their second defeat of the season. 

Joe Willock played the entire match as Newcastle lost 3-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Our young midfielder had a day to forget, conceding a late penalty in defeat for the Magpies. 

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles was in action for West Brom this weekend. He played the full game as Sam Allardyce's side drew 0-0 with Burnley at Turf Moor. The result leaves the Baggies 19th in the table, 11 points from safety. 

Daniel Ballard made his return to the Blackpool starting XI on Saturday and picked up a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Our 21-year-old defender missed the last five games in all competitions but was on hand to help his loan side secure back-to-back wins in League One. 

Ben Sheaf played 18 minutes as Coventry beat Brentford 2-0 at home. A brace from Tyler Walker secured a surprise result for the hosts, who now move five points clear of the relegation zone. 

Matt Smith played 55 minutes for Charlton in their 1-1 draw with Fleetwood on Saturday. Jayden Stockley opened the scoring for the Addicks before Patrick Madden equalised before half time. 

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Harry Clarke played the full match as Oldham drew 2-2 with Tranmere at Prenton Park. Clarke missed his sides previous outing against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night due to an EFL limit on loanees but was back in the starting XI this weekend. 

Zech Medley played 62 minutes as Kilmarnock were beaten 1-0 by Aberdeen on the road. Our 20-year-old defender replaced Clevid Dikamona mid-way through the first half but couldn't prevent Callum Hendry from giving the home side all three points.

Joseph Olowu played the full game for Wealdstone in their Conference Premier clash against high-flying Sutton, but they were well-beaten 4-1 at Gander Green Lane. 

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McCabe - I saw the flag and knew I belonged

Katie McCabe and members of Gay Gooners joined club staff to celebrate LGBT+ History Month and complete a workshop on gender identity, sexuality and allyship.

During the session, which was delivered by Stonewall and Premier League accredited staff trainers, McCabe recalled the lasting impression that seeing the Gay Gooners flag had on her during her first ever visit to Emirates Stadium.

“It was way before I signed, I was coming over as a fan from Dublin,” started the Republic of Ireland international.

“I remember seeing the Gay Gooners flag hanging inside the stadium and it was massive for me. Immediately I felt a part of it and I felt a part of the club. I remember thinking ‘OK, if I’m gay here, that’s absolutely fine’.

“It was a great factor knowing that when the day did come that Arsenal wanted to sign me, I knew I was going to be accepted. That was warming for me and it is credit to all the work Gay Gooners have done, and that the club have done in supporting them.

“Visibility is so key and as a professional footballer it’s important I use my platforms to be that visible player who is out. To be comfortable and to be happy with myself. To use my platforms to help create change towards a more inclusive society.

“Having a group like Gay Gooners is massive, it’s about a sense of belonging and having a safe space in a football environment where you can be yourself. That’s what Gay Gooners are doing – not just for me but for fans around the world, and I think it’s fantastic.”

As the UK’s first and world’s largest LGBT+ football fan group, Gay Gooners have played an integral role in combating prejudice and raising awareness of LGBT+ issues in the football community.

McCabe is just one example of the many supporters and players that have felt welcome due to Gay Gooners’ continued presence inside Emirates Stadium and at away matches.

“The idea that just our visibility and the fact we exist can make supporters or players feel welcome just makes everything worthwhile to me,” explained George Rice, co-chair of Gay Gooners.

“I think the banner inside the stadium and any kind of visibility, whether it’s on social media or otherwise, is just so important in reminding fans or players who may not be out that, if they were to come out, their club is behind them 100 per cent.”

As well as celebrating LGBT+ History Month, the workshop formed part of our ongoing Arsenal for Everyone initiative, which aims to ensure that everyone can feel an equal sense of pride and belonging to the Arsenal family. It is also reflective of the ongoing education work delivered by Arsenal in the Community. 

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