If he was to be judged on his goalscoring exploits alone, then Thomas Eisfeld cannot be seen to be doing much wrong in his quest to make the first-team. Since joining from Borussia Dortmund in January 2012, the midfielder has scored a commendable 12 goals in 22 appearances for the club at U21 level, whilst also finding the net during several of his fleeting cameos for the first-team in pre-season fixtures.
It is surprising to some, then, that the 20 year old still only has one competitive outing for the senior side to his name, which came as a substitute in the chaotic 7-5 win over Reading in the Capital One Cup last season. There are, though, some valid reasons as to why he hasn’t been called upon in other competitions yet, not least the amount of talented and relatively young wingers and central-midfielders already at the club.
In addition, it has to be noted, that, for all his goalscoring exploits, Eisfeld’s overall performances during matches haven’t always been the most consistent since his arrival. He was the star of the show during the U21 season opener against Stoke City, when he scored a brace in a 2-2 draw, but, on many other occasions, particularly towards the end of the previous campaign, he has tended to operate on the periphery of matches.
With the player turning 21 in January, he does not have as much time on his side as some of his contemporaries in his quest to make the breakthrough. A loan spell is likely to be in the offing in the near future, but Eisfeld may stay in North London until at least January in order to feature in the club’s Captial One Cup campaign, which will begin with a trip to face West Bromwich Albion next month.
Eisfeld would also benefit from more time deployed as an attacking midfielder having been stationed on the flanks for much of his Arsenal career to date. He possesses an ability to drive at defenders and his powerful shot can cause a multitude of problems for the opposition.
Whether regular attendees at Emirates Stadium will see much of Eisfeld in coming years, however, remains to be seen. The next two seasons will be pivotal for determining his long-term future at the club, and, like he did against Stoke, the young German must take up every slither of an opportunity that he is provided with if he is to make the grade.