Spanish wonderkid nets fifth Arsenal goal of the season, in front of Wenger

Arsene Wenger at Training - 18/02/2014

Jon Toral opened the scoring for Arsenal's UEFA Youth League side as they progressed to the next round.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger watched on as Jon Toral fired the opening strike in the Gunners' under-19 side win over Shakhtar.

An acquisition from Barcelona in 2011, he didn't play a single game in 2013 until November.

Since then Toral's season has picked up. He scored in his comeback against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Youth League, and netted his fifth of the season in last night's 3-1 win over the Ukrainians.

It's a competition Arsenal are taking seriously, having got to the semi-finals of the NextGen Series last year. So much so that Wenger permitted first-team winger Serge Gnabry to drop down a level to get a game under his belt, and it paid off as he bagged the third after a Kristoffer Olsson penalty.

Toral now has two goals and two assists in four UEFA Youth League games, in addition to his three goals and two assists for the under-21 side, influencing games against Liverpool and Napoli this season among others with his assists.

The stage is now set for a controversial reunion for Toral. Next up for the Gunners are Barcelona, the side from who he signed. 

His signature sparked an angry war of words between the two clubs, with the Catalans branding his signature from their academy 'a little immoral', which saw Arsene Wenger hit back to deny any wrongdoing in their approach.

You can imagine there will not be many happy Barcelona faces if Toral ends up hitting the winner.

 

image: © Jenny Leigh

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch