Arsenal loanee is already ‘an outstanding footballer’ and ‘fans favourite’

Jon Toral

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett recently said he thinks Jon Toral could break into the Arsenal first team when he returns to the club.

The Blues boss has witnessed 20-year-old Toral score seven goals in 22 league starts, three of which came from outside the box, since he joined the Championship side on loan last summer.

Signed from Barcelona’s La Masia academy alongside Hector Bellerin in the summer of 2011, Toral has yet to break through at Emirates Stadium, partly due to a recurring knee problem.

Added to his injury issues, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wanted the Spaniard to gain more experience by sending him out on loan to Brentford where he had a relatively fruitful loan spell.

Will he emulate the progress of Bellerin? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but Birmingham fans have clearly taken to him already.

Check out this report from Toral’s performance against Hull at the beginning of March:

“Then there was Toral. He did everything with that little bit of class. Every pass was weighted properly to set his team-mates on their way. He made the right decision almost every time. He was happy to draw three players towards him ready to kick his ankles in an attempt to win the ball before setting somebody away to break forward.

“Toral was that standout. Can we please do everything in our power to make him ‘our’ player next season?”

Toral’s goal against Hull:

And here he is replicating that goal in training:

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