Hat-trick hero Toral hoping for Arsenal chance

It is almost exactly four years since Arsenal’s interest in signing Jon Toral from Barcelona was first reported.

Since then the youngster has spent much of the ensuing period recovering from a succession of injuries, but, now 20, he appears to be enjoying his football again, as evidenced by his impressive hat-trick for his loan side Brentford against Blackpool last night.

Toral has had to be patient for opportunities this season and has primarily been used as a substitute for Brentford. His performance last night showed what he is capable of producing when involved from the offset, however, and could see him receive further starts for the Championship side over the next few weeks.

What will happen to Toral next season is still a matter of some debate. His Arsenal contract expires at the end of June but, based on his development this campaign and his obvious potential, it seems likely that the club will offer him an extension, possibly for one or two seasons.

The midfielder, who has already represented the first-team in friendlies, could make his competitive debut in the Capital One Cup next season with a loan spell, possibly at a struggling Premier League side, another possibility.

Toral is keen to emulate his compatriot and close friend Hector Bellerin by progressing to the Arsenal first-team squad, but, whilst an opening for Bellerin was created by the departure of Bacary Sagna, circumstance is unlikely to be quite so kind to Toral.

Arsenal possess several first-team players capable of operating in Toral’s preferred central-midfield positions, whilst Dan Crowley and Gedion Zelalem will both be hopeful of edging closer to senior action next season.

Toral undoubtedly possesses much ability but, at present, it is difficult to envisage him not suffering the same fate as Kristoffer Olsson, who left Arsenal permanently last month in search of greater first-team opportunities elsewhere.




  1. It seams really crowded in the midfield, Ramsey, Wilshere, The Ox, Zelalem, Crowley. All young aswell, but none of them, well maybe Zelalem, can truly be what Diably was/hopeful of or Viera. Which is a box-to-box, physically imposing midfielder, bossing that midfield. Maybe Zelalem will fill out, he has the frame, but won’t know for a few years.

  2. Let’s put this hat-trick into perspective – the team he played against is the worst team in the Championship and the goals looked fairly easy. Having said all that, these goals should be a big confidence booster for him and he has done well in many matches, not just this one, so he is on the right path. I hope he makes it at Arsenal. Wilshere and Ramsey are injury prone. Arteta, Cazorla and Flamini are in their 30s. Flamini may leave this summer, Arteta is 33 next month and is suffering injuries.Diaby’s contract expires this summer. It’s true the Ox can play as a central midfielder but his positioning is awful there, The Ox needs to stay as a right winger until he matures which would take at least 4 years.
    Zelalem has disappointed me a lot and is 2 years younger than Toral so I think Toral will get a chance before Zelalem. He has earned that, is further in his development than Zelalem. Crowley is also 2 years younger and plays a different position compared to Toral. Toral is a box-to-box midfielder , Crowley’s two best positions are left winger and number 10.

  3. Toral despite his hattrick has not been setting the world alight at Brentford, he has been unable to hold down a regular starting place, 9 starts and 17 as sub, tells its own story. He looks to be well down the pecking order at Arsenal. Hopefully for the lads sake he is good enough to be a success at Arsenal, but I just don’t see it happening for him.

    1. “he has been unable to hold down a regular starting place, 9 starts and 17 as sub, tells its own story”
      This is his first season of pro football and was only 19 years old when the season began in a new team and had suffered a lot of injuries in the 4 years prior to his move to Brentford. He gets better with every passing month. He turned 20 this month. He hasn’t had many starts but he is always the first to come off the bench, the manager rates him obviously and Brentford are not some shit team. They are 7th in the Championship and are fighting for promotion.

    2. 9 starts and 17 sub appearances for top team in the championship for a player in his debut season.

      Compare that to how many arsenal players have started 9 matches making 26 in total.

  4. I love him. I loved Bellerin and Coquelin too before they broke into the first team, But since neither of them would have made it without a huge stroke of good luck – namely, injuries to established players coming at just the right moment – there’s no guarantee Toral will get the same breaks. He might, though. Half of our established midfield is quite elderly (Rosicky, Flam, Cazorla, Arteta) and others are very injury-prone (Wilshere, Ramsey). Fingers crossed for him anyway. If he doesn’t make it with us he should have a good chance in Spain.

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