Bola takes major step forward in recovery after injury


The season may have finished, but Tolaji Bola is still hard at work at London Colney.

Bola, a graduate of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, has been out of action since January, when he suffered a hamstring injury that brought his campaign to an early end.

There had been some suggestions that the left-back could leave Arsenal this summer but that seems unlikely at present and instead Bola is fully focused on getting back to full fitness.

This week the 20-year-old took a major step forward in his recovery as he returned to training outdoors and he will hope that it won’t be too long before he is able to start playing again.

Bola’s chances of succeeding at Arsenal in the long-term seem bleak to say the least, given that he is entering his fifth season as a full-time player and has yet to be called up to the senior squad, even for a friendly.

Despite having signed a new contract with the Gunners last summer, Bola’s future appears to lie away from the club, and if he isn’t fully recovered by August, it seems likely that he will go out on loan in January to gain some valuable experience of senior football.

Bola can frequently get caught out defensively, but he is impressive going forwards and delivered some excellent crosses as Arsenal U23s won the Premier League 2 title a couple of years ago.

Arsenal have something of a shortage of options at left-back in the U23 side at present, with Cohen Bramall having been released and Dominic Thompson seemingly seen as an attacking midfielder now.

That could mean that Bola will get a run of games at U23 level once he is back fit and involvement in the Carabao Cup or the Europa League cannot be discounted.

However, at this stage it would take something quite significant for him to make the breakthrough at Arsenal.

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

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Man Manny

Keep up putting ’em hard work in; you may never know. The tide might just change ala Coquelin.