There is a school of thought that believes if Wenger drops a player from his team, he just does not have the talent to succeed at Arsenal. David Bentley, Steve Sidwell and Carlos Vela are just a few examples. Of course one can argue that Vela has proved a success in La Liga with Real Sociedad and David Bentley was too impatient to bide his time.
One can also argue that Nicklas Bendtner never made the cut yet came through the youth system and did manage to get plenty of chances in the first team to prove himself. Arsene Wenger also seems to tolerate Jack Wilshere’s deviant behavior due to his undeniable potential…at 22 years.
This brings me to the curious case of Thomas Eisfeld. He was a creative midfielder with a knack for being in the right place at the right time to score goals. Opinion on Eisfeld was split with some claiming that he would go missing in games and lacked something to make the cut. Others thought he was the real deal and was going to be a hit in the future.
So why sell him to Fulham, a championship club, instead of loaning him out? Obviously with the talent in the first team from Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, and even Diaby, he was always going to find it hard to get playing time and at 21 years, he was at the age where he needed to test himself regularly and avoid his career from stagnating. But Eisfeld seemed happy to bide his time and grab his opportunities when he got the chance. He did not seem to be angling for a move.
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Arsenal still have a lot of talent to call on in the youth set up from Gedion Zelalem, Serge Gnabry and Kristoffer Olsson but can you actually say with conviction that Eisfeld did not measure up to them? When Wenger sold Carlos Vela, he made sure he put a buy back clause as he knew that Vela would come good at some point. There does not seem to be a buy back clause in Eisfeld’s contract.
It is worth noting Wenger is a genius at spotting talent and he has the patience to mould that raw potential in to pure talent. One only needs to look to Aaron Ramsey to see how patient Wenger can be. So when he gets rid of a player, he obviously is not convinced of the player’s talent and I can’t seem to think of any time he has got it wrong. However, this time I believe he was wrong to get rid of Eisfeld. Only time will tell.