Highly touted Arsenal youngster Daniel Crowley had his loan spell with Barnsley cut short as the League One side determined they no longer were in need of his services. The report states that after giving Crowley 10 first-team appearances, Barnsley decided he was not ready for that level of play and sent him back to London before January, the initial end date on his loan deal.
Previously, I wrote about my concerns regarding Gedion Zelalem's loan and, as I stated in that piece, the same logic applied to Crowley's. It was already a warning sign that the heralded youngster was sent to Barnsley in the first place. Now that he's been sent back, alarm bells regarding his Arsenal first-team future should be ringing loudly.
Many have thrown out comparisons to Andres Iniesta or Samir Nasri when watching highlights of Crowley's academy exploits, but the truth is, as I complained in a number of my youth match reports last season, Crowley still has yet to consistently influence matches. He is good for a highlight or two each match, and can strike a dead ball with the best of them, but consistently makes the wrong decisions in the final third.
One has to hope that this rejection, from a club struggling to stay up in League One at the moment, will lead Crowley to refocus and redouble his efforts. He just turned 18 in August and certainly has the technical ability to make it at the highest level. It will be interesting to see if the next phase at development is with the club's newly re-tooled youth teams or if he is once again sent out on loan. Here's to hoping he can eventually put it all together for Arsenal (Remember: A League One side just rejected him. If he gets first-team action for us in the near term, it's bad news.).
As for his Barnsley spell, well, you'll always have that (eventually meaningless) goal against Everton, Dan.