In this series Nick Harris looks at some of the young players who may be the biggest new stars of 2013. Thomas Eisfeld is the subject of this article, with the midfielder likely to see senior action next year for the first time.
Thomas Eisfeld does not fit the mould of a traditional Premier League deadline day transfer, which usually involves overpaying for another team’s star, or picking up an aging journeyman on a free. On 31st January 2012 however, Arsenal decided to pay just shy of half a million pounds for the youngster, in the hope that he will be transformed into a star under Wenger’s careful tutelage.
So far Eisfeld has yet to really make an impact on Arsenal’s first team, though he did make his first appearance for the side in the 7-5 win over Reading in the Capital One Cup. Having impressed in that game, there is a feeling around the club that Eisfeld is good enough to be making first team appearances, if not at Arsenal then on loan at another club.
This is the path that Jack WIlshere took in 2010, with the English midfielder heading to Bolton for the second half of the season, and impressing in his 14 Premier League appearances at the Trotters. When he came back to Arsenal, Wilshere was put into the first team and only injury has prevented him from being there ever since.
Eisfeld could well take this route this January, with a loan experience his best option to get valuable first team experience due to the plethora of excellent attacking midfielders Arsenal have at their disposal. If he can impress on loan, Eisfeld is at a club where the manager will not be shy of giving him a chance in the first team, and he could finish 2013 as highly rated as Wilshere was in 2010.
Before he left Dortmund, Eisfeld was rated as good a prospect as Mario Gotze, with only a severe injury preventing him from moving through the ranks at the German club. If Eisfeld does develop as expected, Arsenal’s swoop to sign him before he did establish himself in Germany might well be seen as one of Wenger’s finest pieces of business in recent years.
At 19, Eisfeld is ready to be playing first team football somewhere, and Arsenal should look to loan him out if they are not going to be able to give him that opportunity themselves. If he does play regularly in 2013, there’s every chance Eisfeld will be one of the breakthrough stars of the year.
image: © Arsenal FC