It may have been a bitterly cold night in Birmingham, but the move was straight out of sunny Spain. Jon Toral, with a picturesque pirouette, teed himself up for a shot and, albeit with the aid of a deflection, found the net to set his loan side on the way to a victory over Hull City.
Toral has made several important contributions for Birmingham this season, and has scored seven league goals, but his future at Arsenal is still rather uncertain.
The prospect was offered a new one-year deal off the back of some impressive displays on loan at Brentford last campaign, and that contract is due to expire on June 30th. As things stand, Toral has been provided with no indication as to whether he will still be an Arsenal player next season.
He couldn’t have done much more, however, to persuade the club to retain his services. Toral has endeared himself to the Birmingham supporters with his neat passing and hard work, and he has also shown an ability to cope with the physical rigours of the Championship.
Toral’s adaptability is one of his key assets, with the youngster capable of operating effectively either as a playmaker or out wide. Given the regularity with which Arsenal suffer injuries to midfielders, they could surely benefit from an additional option in that area of the field, especially when it is taken into consideration that Tomas Rosicky is likely to be moving on at the conclusion of the campaign.
Toral himself is no stranger to injuries, with his academy days at Arsenal having been blighted by a succession of setbacks. As he has demonstrated over the past couple of seasons, however, the prospect is capable of making a substantial impact when he is fully fit.
With his close friend and fellow La Masia graduate Hector Bellerin having thrived in the first-team at Arsenal, Toral will be eager to follow suit. He has done his part with Birmingham, and now it is up to the club to decide his future.
Surely a new one year deal, which would see Toral become regularly involve with the squad, would be of benefit to all parties.