Arsenal midfielder Dan Crowley has expressed a desire to leave the club on loan for a second time. The 18-year-old was recalled early from a six-month stint at Barnsley in October 2015, but believes the opportunity to gain more experience will aid his quest to break into the first-team set-up under Arsene Wenger.
Crowley, who signed his first professional contract with the Gunners in 2014 after catching the eye during his early years at Aston Villa, featured 11 times in League One for Barnsley and scored his solitary goal for the club during an eventful 5-3 Capital One Cup second-round loss to Everton in August.
Although that particular youth spell was ended prematurely, the England U-19 international clearly enjoyed his brief time in the Football League. Talking to Arsenal's official website ahead of an U-21 fixture against Blackburn on 5 January, he said: "I want to go out on loan to get more experience. I think it will benefit me in the future and will get me closer to the first team here at Arsenal.
"To be out on loan playing first-team football it is very different. It was a good experience – I learnt a lot about myself, a lot about the game and what it is like to be in a first-team environment. Hopefully I will get my chance soon – I just have to see when the boss wants me. I'm back at home with my friends and top players."
No official reason was given for Crowley's early departure from Barnsley, with some claiming that Wenger may have recalled him due to a number of injuries afflicting his current crop of midfielders. Others suggested that he had not made enough of an impact during his time at Oakwell, although that particular theory would certainly be at odds with the glowing review he subsequently received from manager Lee Johnson.
"I think Dan's had a fantastic time here," Johnson said. "We've really enjoyed working with him. He's the most talented 18-year-old I've ever seen. For me, I'm really appreciative to Arsenal. I have nothing but positive words for him as a lad and as a player."