Arsenal midfielder, Jon Toral, has recently spoken about a possible return to the Gunners following his extremely successful loan spell at Birmingham City.
The Spanish midfielder picked up three awards at Birmingham’s end of season awards evening, awards included: Players’ Player of the Season, Supporters’ Player of the Season and Goal of the Season following his spectacular volleyed effort against Ipswich Town.
Who is Jon Toral?
Many Arsenal fans will be wondering, who is Jon Toral? The 21-year-old midfielder has been at Arsenal since 2011, after he made the switch from the Barcelona academy with Arsenal teammate, Hector Bellerin. The pair have been hugely influential over the success of one another, as they have played football together since they were eight years old in Barcelona.
Despite Bellerin’s breakthrough into the Arsenal first team, Toral has been forced to wait for his, having never made his official debut for the club. The midfielder travelled to Singapore with the team, and scored a goal in the pre-season tour, but has since gone on loan to Championship side Birmingham, following his loan spell last year at Brentford.
Jon Toral has suffered with numerous injuries, particularly to his knee, which has halted his development at Arsenal. At Brentford, Toral scored six times in 37 appearances, playing as an attacking midfielder and the occasional cameo out wide. This season, he has scored eight goals in 28 appearances, claiming four assists in the process. The Spaniard has scored six goals from attacking midfield, and two from his less favoured wide position.
Time to fit in with the full squad?
Speaking after the awards evening, Toral said: “I’ll go back to Arsenal and then we’ll decide from there.” It appears to be make or break time for the young Gun, and will be increasingly difficult for the attacker to fit into the Arsenal side. With the attacking midfield position dominated by Mesut Özil, and with fellow Arsenal loanee, Gedion Zelalem returning from an exceptional loan spell at Rangers, his favoured central role is in increasingly high demand.
The emergence of Alex Iwobi out wide may be a lifeline for Toral at Arsenal, with Wenger growing increasingly confident with his young players once more.
Only time will tell if Toral will make it at Arsenal, but at the tender age of 21, there is plenty of time for him to grow, whether it be at Arsenal or at a different club.