Friday, December 9, 2022

Time running out for Toral to succeed at Arsenal

He joined Arsenal at the same time as Hector Bellerin and there were suggestions in some quarters that Jon Toral was the superior talent of the pair.

Fast forward five and a half years, however, and, while Bellerin is firmly established as Arsenal’s first-choice right-back, Toral finds himself out on loan for the third season in succession with his hopes of succeeding at Arsenal continuing to dwindle.

Toral is undoubtedly a fine talent. Capable of playing as an attacking midfielder, in a more deep-lying position or on either flank, the Spaniard is tall, elegant in possession and possesses the ability to find the net with spectacular strikes.

Having shown some impressive glimpses of his ability during a loan spell with Brentford in the 2014/15 campaign, Toral stepped up a gear at Birmingham City last season as he scored eight goals in 36 Championship appearances, which encompassed some encouraging performances.

This season, rather than being bedded into the first-team set-up via the traditional route of the League Cup, Toral was, somewhat bewilderingly, dispatched out on loan yet again, this time back to his homeland with Granada.

It hasn’t exactly been plain sailing for the 21-year-old, who has made just six appearances for his temporary club across all competitions, scoring once.

There is little doubt about Toral’s ability but there is now a sizeable question mark about whether he will be given an opportunity at Arsenal.

Despite his aforementioned versatility, it is difficult to see how the prospect fits in to Arsene Wenger’s plans and he is certainly approaching that oft-mentioned stage in a player’s development when a concrete decision has to be made about their long-term future.

A parting of the ways, it seems, may be best for all concerned. Toral certainly need to play regularly and Arsenal are highly unlikely to be able to grant him that wish.

A sale, with a buyback clause inserted, could well be the solution to the problem.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Beezus Fuffoon

Shame. Seems like a good man. But if it’s not to be it’s not to be. Good luck to him!


Really wishe he was given a chance, but in a squad that collects CMs like Pokemon that even Jack couldn’t break through, what hope does he have?

Shame, as he has all the qualities to be moulded into a DM like Xhaka, whereby we wouldn’t lose the quality Xhak brings if we lost him (we have a nice variety of choices, but always seem to suffer if a key player Ian injured because we have no second version to replicate their qualities).

I still miss Wellington Silva. Been doing really well back in Brazil. Certainly bound to return to Europe.

Coq au Vin

Having Wellington tomorrow night. Beef Wellington that is.

Malaysian gunner

He aint the first yg to be hard done. Wenger has a record of buying
promising ygs only to ditch them later.
Furthermore when the need for key signings to be made,he went for crocks like
Campbell and Silvester. Maybe that was the time when the gunners had little money.
No top manager has lasted more than 5 years without winning the epl..His 20 year old record is
unlikely to be replicated .Thats why come end of season,I hope Arsenal get a new guy
regardless of whether he wins the epl.

Clock-End Mike

“crocks like Campbell”? Sure, you can’t believe that? How long have you been watching the Arsenal?


So because he hasn’t won the EPL you want him to leave even if he wins the EPL. That’s some next-level thinking right there. Of course, most of us try _raise_ our level to earn that statement but I guess its nice to buck the trend eh? There’s been a lot of arguments for AW moving on and I’ve even been one of the ones making them at times… but I’m fairly sure that “he should leave even if he wins the EPL because he hasn’t won the EPL in ages” is kinda flawed because of the whole, you know,… Read more »

Stewart Robson's therapist

Looks like the love child of Olivier Giroud and Cesc Fàbregas. Hope he doesn’t leave and come back to haunt us like the latter.

Holding Rob

Next Fran Merida perhaps.
Let’s hope more like roscicky without injuries


Ahhh I remember the days of fielding Miquel, Eisfeld and Yennaris in the league cup. Miss those days and expected all three to make it Arsenal but wasn’t to be. Regardless know that Eisfeld and Yennaris are doing well at Bochum and Brentford but not too sure about Miquel. Still remember when he scored that header and kissed the badge ahhh the memories ?.

Bobby P

Despite all the potential that so many have shown none of the former youth players that failed to make the breakthrough at arsenal have gone on to play for top clubs. I can’t really think of anyone for a long time that has gone on to prove arsene wrong.
That said we usually have one player from the academy break through every year which shows that we doing things right at youth level.

Clive St Helmet

I think you’re basically correct. That’s not to say that good footballers never get missed. Hell, if Debouchy never got injured we might be having this conversation about Bellerin. We almost released Coquelin.

I can think of a couple that we did let go: Harry Kane, Andy Cole. Also thought David Beckham started at Arsenal but may be wrong. And it seems Carlos Vela and Serge Gnabry have been pretty successful since leaving.


We didn’t let Serge go though, it was his decision and against our wishes. That lad was clearly very talented, if he hadn’t had that super-long injury layoff he’d probably already be starring from us and keeping Theo, Iwobi and the Ox off the pitch.

Clive St Helmet

I agree, Gnabry always looked like a bright prospect and it’s amazing we didn’t do more to keep him. I believe he was fit for some of his final season at Arsenal after Pulis discarded him, so (if I’m correct) I can’t fathom how he didn’t get more game time. Still, he didn’t make it at the club and has gone on to have quite an impact at Werder Bremen. Good luck to the bloke.

Andy Mack

As I understand it, we sold Andy Cole because we got a good offer and he was causing dressing room problems for the club. Basically he was supplying more pharmaceuticals than the club doctor 😀
I think he needed to move away from his ‘comfort zone’ and break certain social contacts or he wouldn’t have stepped up to the level he did get to…

Jim wall

As far as I remember gnabry played for arsenal scores plenty of goals and scored a hat trick for germany get rid of wenger great firsr 10 years crap last 10

Andy Mack

Gnabry wanted the move, not the manager…


This way if thinking isn’t completely accurate. A big factor for if a young player doesn’t develop is the right environment, luck does play a huge part in that, sadly. To simply say “well they didn’t make it anywhere else” doesn’t mean they didn’t have the potential, but also weren’t in the right environment, to have quality coaching and quality players around them to bring it out. If Ashley Cole went to Palace as originally planned if it weren’t for that faithful injury opportunity, do you really think he would’ve become at one point arguably the best LB in the… Read more »

Sideshow Mo

The Mouse is playing for CD Lugo in the Spanish 2nd Division…


Both Vela and Gnabry chose to go as opposed to being discarded. Cole left, I believe, under something of a cloud.
Kane looks to have been a miss but maybe we had a “no fly eaters” policy at that time.

Jim wall

Vela and gnarby never got a decent run in the team fair play to them they didnt want to sit around and waste their career wenger please leave at end of season move upstairs Ferguson retired


I never understand this comment. Wenger is a manager that first and foremost gives youth a chance. Aside from Henry (who flattered to deceive at Juve when he came to us), in recent memory, Iwobi, Bellerin and Coquelin all got the nod from the gaffer. Had some fans had their way, none of these players would ever seen the light of day. Vela flattered to deceive countless times when it mattered most in the league. He was great in the mickey mouse cup but when missing in the real matches (NO IMPACT) Gnabry was impatient because truth be told, if… Read more »


I honestly thought he’d be kept on this season and been started to be integrated into the first team. We lost Flam, Arteta & Roscicky so there was space in the squad. He’s also impressed the season before in the Championship – he won Fan’s player of the season, player’s player of the season and goal of the season. My Brentford supporting mate also said he was clearly superior to bring a Championship player. It would be sad to see him go. I can’t help but thing there is something strange going on with the issues we’re seeing with some… Read more »


NOthing strange. All part of development.

Plus quality in squad at the moment is a massive issue.

Andy Mack

So why has Toral played so few games for Granada then?


I’d call him back from loan and start next to xhaka/coquelin. He could be the solution. Santi-like player a bit. Coq-Ramsey doesn’t work, coq-xhaka not so much either, so why not try?


If he can’t make the Granada first eleven on a regular basis, what makes him an improvement on our current options? Some question marks remain about Coquelin’s role without in the team without Cazorla and if Elneny is good enough to be a regular starter but in Xhaka and Ramsey we have two very good midfielders. We just have to get the balance right.

James's giant peaches

Coqs better than Ramsey and Xhaka, no idea what matches you’ve been watching if you think otherwise


Not better. Coquelin has been good but they all bring different abilities. Coquelin cannot spray passes from deep like Granit. We need that to release our forwards quicker before the opponents regroup and he did that VERY well against WBA. Coquelin also does not have the attacking instinct of Ramsey (who can score goals). My issue with Ramsey is he isn’t deployed in his BEST position which unfortunately is Ozil’s. Coquelin is more the bull terrier that hunts the ball down for us quickly and he is brilliant at that. But he has also had some shockers. No one is… Read more »

Bendtner's Ego

How does Birmingham’s player of the year make only 6 starts at Grenada?

They’re not exactly the team you think of when thinking of teams that are bursting at the seams in talent.

Andy Mack

We may not be able to “call him back from loan”.

Tony g

Would be a shame to see him go…He’s the closest we have to the finished article as far as youth cm’s go



Maitland Niles has put in very good shifts of late.

We have other options unexplored beyond academy and market as will be explained below.


I really thought that after his success at Birmingham he would have been brought back for pre-season and given a chance, and I was surprised when he was loaned out again as I don’t know what more he could have done,to be honest. I think he’s a very good young player and I’ve always been hopeful that he’ll make it at Arsenal, he has the skills, he has a good attitude, and I’ll be very sorry if he goes without being given a proper chance.


You never know with development process. Players generally don’t come good until 23yrs + In that sense, Iwoi and Bellerin are exceptions. Coquelin came good for us (And it was Wenger who showed him the faith) late on at 23yrs following several lukewarm loan spells. Walcott and Ramsey came good for us about the same age following frustrating years where they cost us. Again it was around 23yrs. but I think beyond that, much also depends on what the team needs in midfield. Zelalem is another that showed huge promise and had a successful loan spell at Rangers but has… Read more »


Wenger has enjoyed more success in recent seasons bringing young players through the Academy and into the first team. The likes of Bellerin, Iwobi, Coquelin have all profited from the better experience and quality injected into the team over the painstaking rebuild in the last 5-6 seasons interrupted of course by high profile departures, where Gibbs and Jack were more sporadic remnants of success in an earlier period interrupted by financial constrains and flawed dependency on youth project. Its difficult though to break into a team which is now regularly reinforced by top quality buys from market Bottom line is… Read more »

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x