German starlet Thomas Eisfeld is one of Arsenal's hottest prospects, but what should they do with him for the rest of the season?
Arsenal have welcomed Abou Diaby back into their first team squad upon his return to injury, even if a start in the game at home to Manchester City on Sunday is too soon.
He gives the Gunners yet another option in the centre of the park, where they are more blessed than any other; Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin.
Standing at the back of the queue, but urgently trying to get himself noticed is German starlet Thomas Eisfeld.
The 19-year-old made his first team debut against Reading in the memorable 7-5 Capital One Cup victory earlier in the season, but in truth with the queue of players in front of him, he probably won't get many more opportunities; if any.
Perhaps at the end of the season if Arsenal are in the luxurious position of having nothing to play for, which is doubtful, he could get a run out, or in the FA Cup if the Gunners get a particularly favourable draw in later rounds - but first they must overcome Swansea at home, before traveling away to Brighton.
The away tie at Brighton could be one to try him out in, but given the Seagulls' form, and the way they knocked Newcastle out in the last round, if Arsenal do get through to the fourth round, expect Wenger to play his strongest possible side due to the absolute pressure from supporters and media to win a trophy this season.
So with opportunities going to be limited, surely a loan move will be the best solution?
It's likely Arsenal won't be hawking him round, so a club will have to show the initiative to make an offer, but Eisfeld's performance against Reading showed what he can do, along with excellent pre-season performances to back up his CV.
The most beneficial experience would be for the German to go on loan to a Premier League club, for obvious reasons to adjust to the top flight, Reading have seen what he can do and would be wise to enquire, as would perennial basement strugglers Wigan. Even a loan to Michael Laudrup's Swansea would be great for his development.
A loan to a top Championship team could also be valuable, although playing abroad not so much. Why Arsenal haven't thought of suggesting throwing him in on loan to Crystal Palace as part of their negotiations to try to sign Wilfried Zaha, is beyond us, because Palace could really have been swayed by such an enticing if temporary prospect; instead Zaha looks set for Old Trafford.
A loan move at this stage of his career would enable Eisfeld to feel he is moving forward after such an impressive pre-season, he won't want to get to the next tour feeling he has just been sitting in the reserves the whole season and hasn't progressed.
If he can go on loan and impress, it will be good for him and good for Arsenal, and the experience can give him a chance to leapfrog Frimpong, Coquelin, and Ramsey in the Arsenal pecking order.
Should Eisfeld be loaned out? Which would be the perfect club for him
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