It has been confirmed that Dan Crowley has returned early from his loan spell with Barnsley, but comments from both Arsenal and Barnsley boss Lee Johnson have raised some real questions.
The original report suggested that Crowley had failed to make the grade with League One side Barnsley, and after failing to impress the coaches he was being shipped back to the Emirates.
Johnson has spoken extremely highly of Crowley though, and his words certainly don’t sound like someone who was unimpressed.
“I think Dan’s had a fantastic time here,” he said (via BarnsleyFC.co.uk).
“We’ve really enjoyed working with him. He’s the most talented 18-year-old I’ve ever seen.
“For me, I’m really appreciative to Arsenal. I have nothing but positive words for him as a lad and as a player.”
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A statement from Arsenal (via Arsenal.com) also suggests that Crowley enjoyed a successful spell on loan, claiming Crowley was returning the club “having benefited significantly from the experience of competitive league action.”
Crowley made 13 appearances while on loan, including eight starts. None of this leads us to believe that the time spent at Barnsley was a failure, so why was he recalled/sent home?
It’s possible that Arsene Wenger believes Crowley could help with our current injury issues, and he may even play a part in the first team at some point. This seems unlikely considering he was playing in League One a short while ago, but you never know.
It’s also possible that while Crowley is a player of undeniable talent, he wasn’t able to compete physically in League One. He is still young after all, and certainly has a slight build.
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This is all speculation for the moment, but hopefully the reasons behind his recall will become clear in the coming days.