Jon Toral – Scout Report

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Arsenal loanee Jon Toral had a stuttering start to his time in England initially but has found his feet since going on loan firstly to Brentford and now Birmingham City. Jon Toral came to Arsenal from Barcelona along with Hector Bellerin in the summer of 2011 in similar circumstances to Cesc Fabregas years before but four knee surgeries in his first two seasons in North London prevented the progress many expected when he first arrived.

As could be expected of a player with Toral’s background his main strength is his technical ability and his skill at manipulating the ball at his feet. Toral is excellent in operating in small areas creating space for himself. He is also a good dribbler, despite not having great pace he can drift past players with his ball control and his excellent first touch gives him a good start when attacking.

Toral however breaks the mould in that he is a large presence at 6’1’’ using his strength well and is also very adept in the air. This means that despite his technical ability he does not get bullied off the ball like many players of a smaller stature. The 21 year old is an intelligent player able to find space between the lines of the defence and midfield and can spot passes to further unlock the defence.

Toral also has an eye for goal scoring six times this campaign making him Birmingham’s second top goalscorer this season and he is not afraid to pull the trigger from distance leading to some spectacular goals from the youngster.

Many of Toral’s issues early in his loan spells came from his struggles to come to terms with the pace of the English game however he has now settled in and is up to speed with The Championship. The young Spaniard could improve some of the defensive aspects of his game however these areas are not due to a lack of effort as his workrate is very good but are more due to a lack of experience which will come with more games.

Toral has made no secret of his hope to break into the first team at the Emirates, he definitely has the talent to make an impression in North London and it may just depend on if he gets an opportunity with the other top midfield players at Arsene Wenger’s disposal. Before that, Toral will hope to help Birmingham in their push towards the playoffs and Gary Rowett has already come out and said that Birmingham would be interested in a permanent deal for Jon Toral. Wherever his future lies, it looks like it will be very bright for the talented youngster.

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