Jon Toral is currently on loan at Glasgow Rangers and you could perhaps say he isn’t having the best time of his footballing career.
Toral came through the Barcelona academy and was spotted by the Arsenal scouts playing against Manchester United under 15 team in 2009/10. Arsenal, clearly impressed by the young Spaniard, signed him in 2011 for a fee around £300,000 much to the dismay of Barcelona.
He went on loan to Championship club Brentford in 2014, playing in 37 matches and finding the back of the net on six occasions. Mark Warburton, then manager of Brentford, was impressed with the youngster playing him for majority of the season as the Bees made it to the playoff semi-finals before being beaten by Middlesbrough.
The next season, and another loan in the Championship, this time to Birmingham City. Again, Toral performed well, appearing in 36 games and scoring eight goals. He was so impressive that season that he won the club’s goal of the season, as well as players and supporters player of the season awards.
Toral was loaned out to Granada at the start of 2016/17, making 6 appearances for the La Liga club, however he was recalled in January and joined Rangers on loan until the end of the season. Toral was struggling in Spain and the chance to link up again with Mark Warburton was a chance the youngster didn’t want to miss.
His Scottish adventure hasn’t gone too well so far with Rangers fans flocking to social media recently following a poor display, slating the youngster for his performances. It’s possible the turmoil which is currently around the club has had an impact on the 22 year old, as has the departure of Mark Warburton, one of the reasons that Toral joined the club on loan.
But what Toral does possess is a fantastic engine. He is a box to box midfielder and has great dribbling skills. With a sweet left foot and the ability to find a pass, he could be an ideal Arsenal player.
His best position is as a number 10, although he can also play wide right.
Injuries have certainly held him back, especially when you see he joined Arsenal at the same time as Hector Bellerin. Who has gone on to establish himself in the Arsenal first team.
Arsenal will certainly want to see an improvement during his current loan spell in Scotland.
Great things were, and maybe still are, expected of Jon Toral when he signed for the club but at 22 years old the question is is he running out of time.