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Arsenal’s talented young midfielder Jon Toral isn’t sure where he’ll be playing next season, but hopes that his progression will earn him a spot in the first team, as reported by Birmingham City’s official website.
He’s enjoyed a superb season on loan with Birmingham, playing a key role in their midfield. He’s scored eight goals in 38 appearances, and has really developed into an excellent player.
The 21-year-old looks more than capable of being the next Arsenal academy product to break into the first team, although with the competition he’ll be facing in midfield that won’t be easy.
He insists he’ll see how pre-season with Arsenal goes before making a decision, and hopes to discuss his future with Arsene Wenger.
“I’m not sure [where I’ll play next season],” he said.
“I’ll go back to Arsenal and then we’ll decide from there. I’ll play pre-season there and see what the future holds for me.
“I’d have nothing against [returning to Birmingham for another season] after my experience here this season because I have had a wonderful time and enjoyed it.
“But I need to talk to Arsenal and we’ll decide what’s best for me. I think I have progressed a lot this season with more minutes on the pitch.
“That’s what you’re looking for when you go out on loan – to get some experience of football at a high level. This is still only my second full season in a professional division like the Championship.
“It’s been a year of progress for me and that’s thanks to the staff here and to Birmingham City.”
While Toral will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Alex Iwobi and fellow Spaniard Hector Bellerin, his path into the first team certainly has far more obstacles.
Bellerin and Iwobi’s opportunities really came through a lack of depth in their respective positions, and that’s not something we’re suffering from in midfield. It certainly looks likely that there will be a couple of exits in that department this summer, but presumably Wenger will be working hard in the transfer market to bring players in as well.
Arsenal transfer news
It would be great to see another player rise through the ranks and break into the first team, as it would reward Wenger and the club for their faith in the youth system. It doesn’t seem likely that Toral will get a huge amount of game time if he does stay at the club though, unless we get our usual glut of injuries at the right time for the youngster.