Does Jon Toral have any chance of getting first team action next season?
With all club competitions now finished for English football this season, we can sit back and review what the season has been like for the Arsenal players, in terms of who has performed and who hasn’t. It is also a time where we can review our youngsters who have been out on loan and think about what chances they have of linking up with the Arsenal first team next season.
Arsenal had a total of 15 youngsters out on loan for the 2015/16 season and one of the top performers amongst the pick was midfielder Jon Toral. Toral’s story is quite well known amongst Arsenal fans for making the move to Arsenal from Barcelona at the same time that current Arsenal fan favourite Hector Bellerin did, back in 2011. It seems like a while back but whilst Bellerin has had a massive impact with the Gunners over the past two years, Toral’s professional career with Arsenal has not been quite so fruitful. Yet to make a single professional appearance for the Gunners, Toral has been shipped out on loan to Championship clubs Brentford and Birmingham, with the latter being his home for last season.
Toral had a fantastic season in which he won the Supporters player of the season award at Birmingham, in recognition for the brilliant stint he has had at the club. He also won the Players’ player of the season award as well as goal of the season, therefore managing to be the club’s standout player last season. Speaking on his time with the club, Toral said: ” I think i have progressed a lot this season. That’s what you’re looking for when you go out on loan – to get some experience of football at a high level. I have enjoyed it so much, every training session, every game. It has been a good season and I just wanted to thank everyone for making it such a brilliant experience.”
Modest in his brilliant season he may be, but Toral surely must be hoping that his efforts last season for Birmingham have been enough to impress Arsene Wenger into giving him a shot in the first team. Although Toral is often a part of the Arsenal pre-season tours and has made appearances, he is still yet to feature for the first team on a competitive basis and he’ll be hoping to be a part of the Arsenal squad, alongside his close friend Hector Bellerin, rather than be shipped out on loan again. I do think Toral has talent but at 21 years old, time is running out for the midfielder to get in the door at Arsenal before being dumped out of Arsenal’s plans. We’ve seen it before and although the likes of Francis Coquelin has shown that you can make an impact from the reserves as a later developer, it is not a case that happens too often and before you know it, Toral will be looking for first team opportunities elsewhere rather than be continuously shipped out on loan.
Should Toral get a look in next season?