It has not gone unnoticed I am sure by most Gunners that Jon Toral concluded successful loan spell at Birmingham City, by doing a Payet and making a clean sweep at the Blues end of season awards. He picked up Players Player, fans Player and Goal of the season with this effort:
Rather than just speculate and read about his exploits for the St Andrews team GT thought it best to catch up with @almajir AKA Daneiel from Blues Blog Often Partisan for the Toral low down.
Obviously Arsenal fans have watched the headlines and the stats for his loan spell at Birmingham but I guess most of us have not seen the performances.
GT – I know last season at Brentford he was seen as a bit of a luxury player and not always there when the going got tough. Judging by him scooping all the BCFC awards he has progressed and become more consistent?
OP – He can disappear from games at times but he’s also been capable of changing things with a moment of magic – he’s probably been our most consistently performing attacking player this season and I think that coupled with some of his goals have made him a fan favourite.
GT – I think he has played in all 3 positions behind the striker for you this season in a 4231. Is that correct and which position do you see as his strongest?
OP – Definitely the number 10 role, just behind the striker is his position.
GT – What are his major attributes?
OP – I’d say at our level his skill stands out; he’s definitely a level above on the way he can use the ball and create chances. Whether he can translate that to Arsenal’s level though… I’m not sure.
GT – What do you see as his weaknesses?
OP – He can go missing – if he’s well marked, he struggles to do anything.
GT -In recent seasons after years of it not being the case at Arsenal we have seen 2 youngsters break through into the first team in Hector Bellerin and Alex Iwobi. Obviously Jon and Hector arrived from Barca together and are good friends so can Toral follow his friend into the first team squad at the Emirates in your opinion?
OP – (Does Coquelin not count?) I like Toral but I do wonder if he is good enough – especially when you consider the calibre of players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. I think he might need a consistent year with a lower Premier League club first.
GT – Yes to be fair Le Coq does count so fair point.
GT – The player himself has committed to play at Arsenal pre-season and to see what happens from there. He has spoken about breaking into the first team only yesterday.With one year on his contract would you offer him and extension if you were Arsene Wenger?
OP – If a player is offered a contract of equal or more money, if he decides to go elsewhere you get money from a tribunal. A year isn’t going to kill you guys and it protects you – no-brainer if you ask me.
GT – I assume he has enjoyed his time at St Andrews and I know there were noises about Brentford looking to sign him last season. Any talk of that in the second City?
OP – Unfortunately our ownership situation is a five-year long shit show and we can’t afford him.
GT – When interviewed does he come across as an intelligent young man with his head screwed on?
OP – He seems it – although he played a straight bat when asked about coming back to Blues; it wasn’t exactly ‘Mr Enthusiastic’. He’s no Ravel Morrison put it that way.
GT – Looking forward to playing Villa next season? We will send them down with a tonking on Sunday I hope
OP – Of course we always look forward to playing them.
GT – Anything you think I have missed Daniel and you would like to tell us?
OP – Keep Arsene Wenger. He might be crotchety and French, and you might not have won much for a while but you won’t get any better in for you guys – look at Man U post Fergie…
Birmingham -2015/16 – Championship Games 38 Goals 8 Assists 3 (started 28 matches)
Brentford 2014/15 – Championship Games 36 Goals 6 Assists 2 (only started 9 matches)