Oxford United have cut short Dan Crowley's season-long loan from Arsenal but manager Michael Appleton was not willing to reveal the exact reason.
The former Aston Villa midfielder joined the League One club at the start of the season until next summer, but has been sent back midway through. He has made 11 appearances in all competitions scoring three goals and making two, but has not played since the start of November.
The Oxford boss admitted earlier that the midfielder's behaviour on and off the pitch was an issue and it could most likely be the reason for his return midway through his loan spell. Crowley returned from his loan spell with Barnsley earlier than intended, but it was Arsenal's decision to recall the midfielder rather than his loan club cutting short his spell.
"I didn't think his head was in the right place, so he was left out of the squad. There are a couple of issues I want to make sure are addressed in terms of what he does on and off the field," Appleton was quoted as saying by the Birmingham Mail.
"He's a 19-year-old lad who has fantastic ability, but his professionalism at times lets him down. He's had a few issues at Arsenal and Barnsley previously. It's all a massive learning curve for him.
"Ultimately sometimes when people step out of line you have to put them in their place," he added.
The League One side's manager confirmed on Wednesday (30 December) that they had decided to send Crowley back to his parent club after just five months. Appleton made it clear that they are not concerned about falling into the bad books with Arsenal as the club's ethics and values are more important.
"I'm certainly not going to lose sleep if Arsenal have got an issue with Oxford United going forward," Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford, as quoted by BBC Sport.
"The one thing we are, and will always be, is very professional. Nothing and nobody will ever get in the way of what we're trying to do from a team culture and ethos point of view."