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Eight appearances, zero goals: What’s next for failed Tottenham loanee Georges-Kevin N’Koudou?

The 23-year-old has struggled since his move to the Premier League.

Max Cohen

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Georges-Kevin N’Koudou
Photo: Getty Images

When Tottenham Hotspur winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou signed for Burnley on loan in January, there were high hopes that the 23-year-old attacker could finally prove his worth in English football.

However, N’Koudou has tremendously struggled for both playing time and form during his brief time at Turf Moor, and it appears there is no future at White Hart Lane for the Frenchman.

The winger has made just eight appearances for the Clarets and has registered a grand total of zero goals and zero assists.

Frustratingly, Sean Dyche has selected Georges-Kevin N’Koudou in the starting eleven only twice during his loan spell.

The disappointing reality that most of his appearances have come as a substitute is a major factor behind the winger’s ineffectiveness, as it is exceedingly difficult to make an impact on loan when starts are hard to come by.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Things were beginning to look up for N’Koudou in late March and early April when he made consecutive starts against West Bromwich Albion and Watford.

Both matches ended in victory for Burnley, and the winger caught the eye with lively performances full of direct running and pace.

However, when Johann Berg Gudmundsson returned from injury, N’Koudou found himself dropped out of the matchday squad entirely for three matches straight, encapsulating his inconsistent season.

Although the Spurs loanee has returned to make two substitute appearances in Burnley’s recent matches against Brighton and Arsenal, his months at Turf Moor have overall been a frustrating failure.

Signed by Mauricio Pochettino in August 2016 amid much fanfare for £9.4 million pounds, the winger penned a five-year deal in anticipation of a fruitful Tottenham career.

Just under two years later, the challenge of adapting to England seems to have proved too fearsome for the young N’Koudou.

With no future at White Hart Lane next season, a transfer back to his native France might provide the best move for the promising yet ineffective Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

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Arsenal loan watch: Chambers showing promise, Ospina on the bench

The Gunners have six players out on loan already.

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Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal have endured a tough start to life in the Premier League, with the first-team losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

But how did other players in their ranks who have been sent out on loan across Europe fair? We take a look.

Calum Chambers – Fulham

Eyebrows were raised late in the window when Arsenal allowed Calum Chambers to move across London to Fulham but he has at least commanded a first-team role with the Cottagers, playing 90 minutes of Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham with a display that Football.London described as decent as he grew into the game.

Matt Macey – Plymouth Argyle

The 23-year-old continued in his first-choice role with Plymouth in League One, playing the entire 90 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Coventry City.

Takuma Asano – Hannover 96

Japan international Takuma Asano came off the bench for the final 17 minutes of Hannover’s 3-1 DFB Pokal defeat to Mainz. The Bundesliga campaign begins this weekend, where Asano’s side travel to Werder Bremen.

David Ospina – Napoli

Only signed for the Serie A side last week and was on the bench for Napoli’s 2-1 win over Lazio, with former Watford man Oscar Karnezis starting between the sticks.

(Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Krystian Bielik – Charlton Athletic

The versatile 20-year-old made his debut in the heart of the defence for Lee Bowyer’s side before being moved into a midfield role at half-time, playing the full 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley and picking up a yellow card.

Kelechi Nwakali – Porto B

Nigeria international Kelechi Nwakali played 58 minutes of Porto B’s 3-1 defeat to Farense before being substituted.

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Three things learnt from Arsenal’s defeat to Chelsea

Unai Emery is empty-handed after his first two Premier League games.

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Photo: Getty Images.

Arsenal remain with zero points after their first two matches of 2018-19, losing on Saturday to Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.

The Gunners fell two goals behind in the first half following efforts from Pedro and Alvaro Morata but Unai Emery’s side fought back to level the scoring before the break – although it could be been a lot different as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi all guilty of missing glorious chances.

That proved to be decisive in the end as Marcos Alonso’s late goal handed the Blues all three points, raising the pressure for Unai Emery ahead of another crucial London derby next weekend against West Ham. Here, we have identified three things we learnt from the game.

Gaping defence

Unai Emery is clearly trying to implement a certain style of football upon his Arsenal side, commanding the players to put pressure on the opposition when they do not have the ball and looking to create plenty of opportunities moving forward.

(Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

With this the full-backs, who were Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin on Saturday, are given a licence to push forward in attack but that has left the Gunners extremely exposed at the back – something that Chelsea exploited at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues regularly found room to work with, particularly in the wide areas, and that is a major concern for a side that was already leaky in defence last season.

Ozil lacking confidence

Arsenal fans talked the talk on social media after Mesut Ozil’s difficult summer, rallying to support the World Cup winner, but it is clear the Germany ace needs the supporters to remain by his side as he clearly lacks confidence.

Entering the campaign on the back of a disappointing World Cup and a war of words with Germany’s Football Association, Ozil played against Chelsea like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders – similar to his display against Manchester City last week.

Ozil was certainly not the worst performer for Arsenal at Stamford Bridge but he was clearly way off his best form and Emery has a big decision to make in the weeks ahead as to whether he sticks or twists in the number ten role.

“I am happy with Mesut because he worked hard. I decided to change it because I think we needed a little more of a push in the middle, so that we couldn’t let Chelsea progress easily with the ball.”

– Emery explains his decision to substitute Ozil in the second half.

Showing fight

Arsenal may have finished empty-handed in their trip across London to face Chelsea but the performance was a lot better than similar displays we have seen in recent years where the Gunners have fallen behind against top-six rivals.

Unai Emery’s side did not let their heads drop, despite missing a number of glorious chances, and earned their reward by levelling the scorer. In Arsene Wenger’s later years, it’s difficult to imagine that happening after a number of heavy performances against top sides.

That fight is positive despite the defeat and should raise optimism ahead of the coming weeks, as it is clear that Emery has a plan he is looking to install. As such, Arsenal’s woes should not be a lengthy issue and things should improve imminently.

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Arsenal’s likely XI v Manchester City: Sokratis, Leno & Torreira start

The Gunners are keen to prove themselves after two years out of the top-four.

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Photo: Getty Images

A new era has dawned at Arsenal and the dawn of Unai Emery’s reign at the Emirates Stadium is upon us following two decades under Arsene Wenger.

The former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla boss faces a baptism of fire by hosting defending champions Manchester City on Sunday, then enduring another tough test the following week with a trip across London to Chelsea.

Emery has invested into his squad this summer though, landing five new faces, and a number of them are expected to make their debut this weekend. Here, we have identified the likely line-up for the Gunners.

(Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper – Leno

Arsenal have been crying out for a top-class goalkeeper for a number of seasons, despite landing Petr Cech from Chelsea in 2015, and the Gunners have turned towards Bernd Leno to become the new first-choice stopper at the Emirates Stadium.

It remains to be seen how much football Cech, now second in the pecking order, plays this season as Arsene Wenger in recent years used to utilised his second-string stopper in the cup competitions but it’s not known whether Emery will do the same.

Leno arrives with plenty of expectation and experience but has plenty of years ahead of him at 26 years of age.

(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Defence – Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles

The biggest issue for Arsenal ahead of their Premier League opener is found at left-back, where Sead Kolasinac is facing around ten weeks on the sidelines and Nacho Monreal is not yet fully fit. Because of that, Ainsley Maitland-Niles will play in a more unfamiliar role having done the same against Lazio.

There’s also another big absence in the middle, where Laurent Koscielny is sidelined until 2019, but a new face as arrived in Sokratis Papastathopoulos. He will play alongside Shkodran Mustafi and fans will want better performances than witnessed in pre-season.

On the right, Hector Bellerin remains first choice despite signing veteran Switzerland international Stephan Lichtstiner and that could actually work in the favour of the Spain ace, as he will have competition in his position to push him on.

(during the Pre-season friendly between XXXX and XXXX on August 4, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Midfield – Ramsey, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Lacazette

The saga concerning Aaron Ramsey’s contract situation is yet to come to a close but fans will be thankful that the Wales international enters the season with the club and has battled back from a knock to be in contention to feature on Sunday.

Alongside him is the sort of player Arsenal have needed for a while, with Uruguay World Cup ace Lucas Torreira arriving to compete in a combative role for the Gunners and providing extra protection to a defence that was far too frail last season.

Torreira’s impact could allow the attacking trio to be more expansive and Arsenal look likely to hand starts to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, set for his first full season at the club, Mesut Ozil, who enters on the back of a poor World Cup, and Alexandre Lacazette.

Former Lyon man Lacazette will compete for a central role alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this season but could be forced out wide, where his pace could prove to be a real asset but it may be a concern on Sunday in front of an inexperienced full-back.

(Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Attack – Aubameyang

Signed for a club-record fee in January, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the ground running upon his arrival in the Premier League by scoring 10 goals and contributing four assists in just 13 league appearances for the club.

The Gunners have significantly improved their attacking ranks in the past 12 months and Aubameyang enters the campaign as the club’s leading man, excelling in pre-season and having crafted a strong relationship with Lacazette.

With Mkhitaryan and Ozil playing balls through to the Gabon international, and Ramsey charging forward from midfield, Aubameyang could hit the sort of numbers that saw him regularly tear apart the Bundesliga.

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