Jon Toral has revealed that Gedion Zelalem and Mikel Arteta both helped him to make up his mind about joining Rangers on loan.
Toral endured a painful spell in Spain with Granada, amassing just 267 league minutes in the first half of the season. The whole point of a loan, especially for a player who is 21, is for a player to gain experience playing, so Arsenal pulled the plug.
Mark Warburton, Rangers boss, knows Toral well. He had him on loan when he was at Brentford and when it became clear that the creative midfielder would be available, he made him his number one January target.
“In the summer we went back to London Colney,” Toral told Rangers TV, “the training ground at Arsenal and Gedion said that he had really enjoyed his season here. So I had that in mind before I signed.
“He fully recommended me to come here. He said I would really enjoy my time here.
“When players go on loan they want to get minutes and they want to get experience to learn their trade in football.
“I think Gedion did that here and that was in my mind when I made the decision to come over here.
“So that is a different challenge for me, to play in front of 50,000 every home game. I think that will help me for my entire career moving forward.
“I think it’s going to be a new experience for me. The big crowds at home will really help my career and I think playing in all kinds of stadiums as well will make me learn a lot.
“I really don’t like describing myself; I think that is for others to describe me. I’ll leave that for people who have seen me play.
“Well I’m an attacking midfielder; I like to get into the box and scoring goals so I hope I can do that here.”