If the question had been asked three years ago whether Dan Crowley would be an Arsenal first-team player by the summer of 2016, then the answer would have been an unequivocal “yes”.
As it has transpired, however, the youngster hasn’t been able to develop quite as quickly as had initially been anticipated, with the likelihood being that Crowley will spend much of next season out on loan in search of regular game-time.
Crowley still possesses the qualities that made him such a standout prospect in the first-place- he has excellent close control, is a fine dribbler and is capable of playing incisive passes.
However, the same flaws in his game that were apparent upon his arrival are still very much intact, with the youngster possessing a tendency to hold onto the ball for too long at times, while his reluctance to shoot is a little concerning.
Crowley gained a fleeting taste of first-team football this season via a loan spell at Barnsley, but, upon his return to action with Arsenal at U21 level, the youngster took some time to get back to his best.
Breaking into the Arsenal midfield will be an extremely difficult task, with Arsene Wenger having a plethora of options available in that area of the pitch. As a consequence, Crowley is set to be sent on temporary transfer once more, and it is hoped that this time he will be able to feature frequently and improve his consistency.
Crowley remains one of Arsenal’s most impressive young talents, and, at the age of 18, still has much time on his side to fulfil his vast potential. This season, however, is very important for his development, with the prospect having to show that he is ready to put in the requisite work to fully establish himself in senior football.
There is still a chance that Crowley could make the breakthrough at Arsenal- it just isn’t as inevitable as it one appeared to be.