In order to further his footballing education, young Arsenal midfielder Dan Crowley is spending the season on loan at Barnsley.
The youngster, signed from Aston Villa in 2013, is a huge talent and many expect him to make it in north London but he is gaining invaluable experience with a season in League One.
Crowley has been catching the eye for Barnsley, who are 14th in the division after six matches, and netted his first professional goal in the Tykes’ 5-3 League Cup loss to Premier League club Everton.
However, that’s not been enough for Barnsley manager Lee Johnson.
“Crowley’s probably the best technical player in League One but sometimes he needs to realise it’s not the Crowley show,” Johnson said ahead of Saturday’s game against Swindon.
“He needs to mature and that’s why we took him on loan. We want to help him improve. He’s a massive talent.”
Crowley only turned 18 in August and is playing professionally for the first time. At youth level he has proven to be a terrific player but he does hold onto the ball for too long and has a thing for a ‘Hollywood pass’.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it’s fantastic that he has that ability in his locker but it is a clear case of knowing when to use it, when to release the ball, and when to keep it simple. A year playing regularly in a lower league will only serve him well, and we hope he can continue developing and proving himself.