It’s clear just how highly Gary Rowett rates Jon Toral.
“Whether it’s Birmingham City, Rangers or whoever, fans need a player who can lift the crowd, provide a little bit of magic and be the difference in a game,” Rowett told The Express in January this year after the Spanish midfielder moved to Ibrox on loan.
“Jon can do that, he’s that type of player. He brings something different.”
Toral was a fans favourite under Rowett at Birmingham
Therefore, with Arsenal once again willing to loan out a player who is still yet to make his senior bow for the club, its little surprise that Rowett would jump at the chance of a reunion at Derby County.
Therefore, they appear to have laid the foundations for Toral to have another stab at the Championship after previous spells with Brentford and Birmingham, thriving under Rowett at the latter.
Derby could certainly do with added creativity in their squad after Tom Ince and Will Hughes finally made long-awaited moves to the Premier League with Huddersfield Town and Watford respectively.
Toral could be a direct relacement for Hughes
And Toral, who scored a career best eight goals at Birmingham in 2015/16, would add some much needed craft and guile in the centre of the park next season.
The 22-year-old moved to England in 2011 after making waves in Barcelona’s esteemed academy but, with a fifth loan spell in four years on the cards, it appears that his future lies away from Arsenal.