Arsenal’s Asia tour provided a change for some of the club’s emerging talent to stake their claim for a first team spot. While the focus has been primarily on the likes of Benik Afobe and Chuks Aneke, as well as Marouane Chamakh who did little to suggest his goal drought will end any time soon, young German Thomas Eisfeld caught the eye with a couple of effective cameos.
Coming on as as substitute late in the game against a Malaysia XI he scored Arsenal’s equaliser before Aneke’s winner, and yesterday against Kitchee FC he brought a measure of respectability to an unimportant scorline, again netting an equaliser after great work from Gervinho.
The mooted signings of Cazorla and Sahin would add even more competition to a crowded midfield squad but Wenger has obviously been impressed with what he’s seen thus far.
“He is composed, intelligent, mobile and he makes the game come alive,” he said. “Every time he came on you could see something straight away. He has an impact on the game. He makes himself available and his passing is intelligent and he is good in the box.
“You cannot teach a player that. He earns maximum points on this trip.”
It remains to be seen if he’s done enough to force his way into the manager’s thinking but showing a knack for being in the right place at the right time, as his two goals illustrated, might be enough to set him apart from one or two others.
Meanwhile, Benik Afobe is being linked with a loan move to Bolton Wanderers. He’d follow the path of Jack Wilshere and Ryo Miyaichi who both spent time at the Reebok stadium, and the good relationship between Arsene Wenger and Owen Coyle, plus the style of football Bolton play, might be enough to make this one happen.