Jon Toral has bid farewell to Birmingham City following a successful loan spell and is now eager to return to Arsenal and prove himself during pre-season in the hope of earning a spot in the first-team. The midfielder joined the west midlands club in August and has played a key role in helping them finish in the top half of the table.
The 21-year-old midfielder, whose loan spell was cut short due to a hamstring injury during training, is unsure of Arsenal's plans for his future. Toral admits that he is open to returning to St Andrews for another temporary spell, but is keen to break into the Arsenal senior squad.
Toral arrived from Barcelona's famed La Masia academy in 2011 along with Hector Bellerin, who has already established himself as a first-team regular. The midfielder overcame his initial injury troubles to progress through the youth setup and has spent the last two seasons on loan, first at Brentford during the 2014/15 campaign and most recently at Birmingham.
He has made 38 appearances in all competitions for the Blues scoring eight goals and assisting a further four, which has earned him the plaudits of the manager and supporters alike. Toral has expressed his gratitude and believes he will always be a supporter of his loan club
"I'll go back to Arsenal and then we'll decide from there. I'll play pre-season there and see what the future holds for me," Toral told Birmingham's official site.
"I'd have nothing against that [another loan at Birmingham] after my experience here this season because I have had a wonderful time and enjoyed it. But I need to talk to Arsenal and we'll decide what's best for me," he added.
"That's what you're looking for when you go out on loan – to get some experience of football at a high level. This is still only my second full season in a professional division like the Championship."
"It's been a year of progress for me and that's thanks to the staff here and to Birmingham City. I'll be supporting them wherever I am because it's been a great experience and I'll always have great memories from my time at Birmingham City Football Club," he midfielder explained.