Thomas Eisfeld hoping Germany U20 call-up can propel him to success at Arsenal



Thomas Eisfeld had been waiting for this moment for three years. Last Tuesday it finally arrived as the midfielder learnt that he had been called up by the German U20 side for their friendly against Switzerland this week, ending his prolonged absence from the national team set-up.

Eisfeld could be said to have been in need of a boost. Despite scoring on his maiden start for the first-team in the Capital One Cup win over West Bromwich Albion in September and now appearing to be fully over the injury problems that plagued the early stages of his development, the 21 year old has struggled to receive much of a look in for the first-team and has had to watch on as his compatriot Serge Gnabry has made the breakthrough into the senior set-up.

A deadline-day signing from Borussia Dortmund in January 2012, Eisfeld immediately made his presence felt at Arsenal by finding the net with regularity, and his goalscoring record since joining the club has been mightily impressive as he has scored 14 times in 35 appearances for the U21 side to date, operating in numerous positions across the attacking line and even, on occasion, as a striker.

Now, though, Eisfeld is approaching a pivotal stage in his development. His contract expires at the end of next season and, with an abundance of creative players ahead of him in the first-team squad (Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky are the most prominent), he will certainly have his work cut out to earn an extended stay.

Given his situation and the fact that he surely has little new to learn from second-string football, it was rather surprising that Eisfeld didn’t join the likes of Benik Afobe and Chuba Akpom in heading out on loan in January. He may well go on temporary transfer next campaign, with his performances elsewhere likely to dictate whether he will still be at the club in two seasons’ time.

A hard-working player with good movement, concerns have arisen regarding Eisfeld’s tendency to drift out of games, offering the impression that if he fails to score then he contributes little else, which, for a midfielder, is not exactly ideal. His performance level certainly seems to have picked up somewhat in recent weeks, though, as he impressed for the U21s away to Reading at the Madejski Stadium, a ground where he made his first-team debut last season.

Two years on from joining Arsenal, Eisfeld has just two competitive appearances for the first-team to his name, and the fact that he has not been called regularly to train with the senior side this season indicates that he still has some way to go in order to make a breakthrough.

His call up to represent Germany, however, for whom he hadn’t featured since U17 level, just goes to show that sometimes, if you are patient and put in enough hard work, you will eventually get your reward, even if you didn’t anticipate it.



  1. The problem that Eisfeld is facing is the fact that he is an hybrid kind of player. In French he would be called a “RELAYEUR”, somebody who act as the link between a purely defensive midfielder and a purely attacking midfielder, but he is not a box to box type of player.
    Unfortunately very few teams in England and even less at Championship level know how to use such a player. And I am not even talking about the attitude of British fans. Look at the vitriol Cleverley keeps receiving (in some case justified).

  2. With rosicky and likely arteta extending their contracts this further inhibits the chances of eisfeld and aneke. If diaby and coquelin also return to the fold and if as rumoured today kallstrom gets a 1 year deal, then you would think that zelalem, Olsson and toral will head out on loan for sure. May be hayden also. It won’t be a bad thing as realistically all 5 are at that in between stage,.too good for the academy but.not good enough for the first x1 or.even the back up.

    I cannot see there being many players in front of these 10 for the 5 midfield spaces – arteta wilshire Ramsey Flamini Walcott chamberlain ozil rosicky.cazorla podolski. Then there is coquelin kallstrom gnabry diaby ryo who are probably all ahead of the 5 youngsters mentioned and that is without any signings.

    It is really a case of how many.players we will need next season. 10 quality midfielders, 4 strikers, 8 defenders, 3 keepers that’s your 25!

    1. Coquelin, Djourou will be sold in the summer. Ryo will go on a season loan prior to a sale. Diaby will be given one more chance before being forced to retire. Kallstrom will not be signed and will return to his parent club.
      A powerful defensive midfield player who can quickly transform defense into attack like Bender, Arturo Vidal will be signed. I would like Pogba, but as PSG has already made noise that they are willing to pay €60M for him, that’s very unlikely.
      With Gnabry being promoted to the first team, that leaves one place to grab for all the fringe midfield players.
      If Hayden goes on loan! Eisfeld may get his chance next season, otherwise it’s curtain for his career at Arsenal.

  3. Jeorge have you heard the amrican football supporter group submits a petition for Obama to give a citizenship for zelalem ?

    1. If Zelalem were to get the American citizenship, he would automatically lose the German citizenship. If he were to lose the German citizenship, he would not be able to play for Arsenal as he would not qualify for a work permit. It would also affect the European country in which he would be able allowed to play.
      The best the U.S could hope is for Germany to not call Zelalem for its Senior team until much later.

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