Despite the fact January is still a month away, we have our first bit of real-life transfer news since the Fall 2016 deadline. It is being reported that Oxford United have decided to return a slightly used Daniel Crowley back to North London, after Crowley only made 11 appearances for the League One side in his loan stint.
The reasoning for the decision appears to have been explained by Oxford United’s manager Michael Appleton when discussing why Crowley had been left out of the squad for multiple matches running, and it doesn’t reflect too kindly on the youngster:
"I'm certainly not going to lose sleep if Arsenal have got an issue with Oxford United going forward," Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford when asked if he would feature again for the club.
Nothing and nobody will ever get in the way of what we're trying to do from a team culture and ethos point of view."
This is the second Crowley loan stint in a year that was cut short. Whether or not the first loan stint was terminated by Barnsley or if he was recalled by the Gunners was never truly settled. (I still believe the initial reports, but if you want to be optimistic, the Barnsley manager had nice things to say about him.) There seems to be no ambiguity in this instance.
As I mentioned last year, the stature of the clubs Crowley has been loaned to augur poorly for the youngster’s prospects at Arsenal. With two loans having gone poorly and Crowley’s professionalism openly questioned, it seems like a matter of time before the talented attacker will be plying his trade elsewhere. A top prospect at the club since his arrival from Aston Villa’s academy in the summer of 2013, here’s to hoping Crowley can figure things out and get his career back on track, at whichever club he ends up with.