Hull City have completed the transfer of attacking midfielder Jon Toral for an undisclosed fee from Premier League side Arsenal. The 22-year-old has signed a three-year deal at the KCOM Stadium and will be hoping that he plays an integral part in Leonid Slutsky’s side throughout this season.
The midfielder has had two previous successful spells in The Championship with Brentford and then Birmingham City. These were both season-long loan spells which resulted in him playing the majority of games for those sides when he was there. However, Arsene Wenger has now allowed him to leave the Emirates permanently after four loan spells over the last few years.
We take a look at the reasons why Jon Toral could prove to be an excellent addition for the Tigers this season.
A career that has stalled in recent times
It has not gone quite to plan for the 22-year-old Spaniard in recent times following his two successful Championship loan spells early on in his career. He had two different loan spells last season at La Liga side Granada and Scottish Premier League side Rangers.
He made a total of just six appearances for Granada in Spain but did score one stunning goal which was a contender for the club’s goal of the season. However, he was recalled early by Arsenal who then decided to loan him to Rangers until the end of the season. This saw him reunited with manager Mark Warburton who had previously worked with him at Brentford. His spell at Rangers was slightly more successful as he made a total of 15 appearances in all competitions and found the back of the net three times.
There is no doubt that the midfielder would have hoped for a better season last time out but it is not easy when you are being loaned out regularly by your parent club as it can cause players to become increasingly unsettled. This makes his permanent switch to Hull look like a very wise move.
A proven Championship performer
He may not have played in The Championship during the last campaign, but he has proven in the past that he can perform at this level to a very high standard. It was at Brentford where he really made a name for himself as he scored six goals in a total of 37 appearances in all competitions to help his side finish in the play-off places, only to lose to Middlesbrough in the semi-finals. He really flourished under Warburton’s attacking style of play so it will be interesting to see how he fits into Slutsky’s way of thinking.
Jon Toral followed this successful season up with another impressive campaign with Birmingham under the management of Garry Rowett the following year. He featured in 38 games across all competitions for the Blues and scored eight times. This resulted in him picking up the club’s Goal of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season and Supporters’ Player of the Season awards.
Could Jackson Irvine be next to follow?
Hull appeared to be very inactive in the transfer window in the early stages, but since Sam Clucas’ departure to Premier League side Swansea City was confirmed, they seem to have come alive. They have now been linked with a move for 24-year-old Burton Albionmidfielder Jackson Irvine. The Australian international scored 10 league goals for the Brewers last season and would be another smart addition by Slutsky if he can get a deal over the line.