The young Spaniard Jon Toral arrived from Barcelona along with Hector Bellerin back in 2011, and if anything Toral was touted as thec most promising of the two. But Bellerin has now been promoted to the Arsenal frst team, while Toral is also playing first-team football, but with our lowly London neighbours Brentford.
Toral has been plagued with knee injuries, incurring four operations, in his time with the Gunners, but now feels good and is impressing his new bosses across London. His current contract with Arsenal is up for renewal at the end of this season, and Toral is keen to stay fit and impress Arsene Wenger with his form to earn an extension in the summer.
The 19 year-old has been injury-free for 18 months and now plays free from fear of a relapse. He told the Independent: “Since then, it has been fine and I haven’t had any more problems,” Toral said. “I feel great. Obviously I have to warm up properly and do lots of extra work on the muscles around the knee, gym work, weight work, and on my quads and hamstrings just to protect it. But if you worry about it, it’s when you get injured again. You have to not think about it any more. It’s over, it’s part of the past. You have to go forward, play your game and enjoy your football.”
But his main aim is move back to the Emirates, as he said: I am finishing a contract this season and Arsenal have a preferential option. I work hard every day here at Brentford but my goal is that Arsenal give me a new contract for next season. I am working for it,”
Bellerin’s success has not made him jealous, in fact he is very happy with his mate, and his success is spurring him on to emulate him: “Seeing him in the first‑team, it is something to follow his lead on,” Toral said. “He is my best friend in football because we spent so many years playing together.
“I played with him for eight years in Barcelona before we came over to Arsenal. Coming to England together without our families, it was a big change, so he has been like my brother in football. He is doing great, getting some chances and I am sure he’ll continue doing well.”
In my opinion, Toral is only 18 and because of his setbacks he should now be ready for rapid improvement on loan. We only have to look at the example of Coquelin to understand its worth keeping him a bit longer. He only cost us 300,000 so I’m sure we’ll some sort of profit on him one day, even if we sell him….