Daniel Crowley has caught the eye of many since joining Arsenal as a 15-year-old from Aston Villa.
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The creative midfielder was tipped for a first-team breakthrough but four years on is still having to remain patient for his opportunity centre-stage.
After reported attitude issues saw loan spells cut short at both Barnsley and Oxford United in recent seasons, his European experience in the Netherlands has helped him mature – both in his playing style and as a person.
As quoted by an article on the Daily Mail Crowley said, “I’m still young.
“Oxford didn’t work out and I know there were people saying: ‘Oh, he’s a failed wonderkid’, but I’m learning about myself as a person and as a player and I’m changing for the better.
“I’ve matured as a person and I’d like to think managers can trust me more. I’m getting stronger and learning not to take too many touches in the wrong places.”
He has been one of the Go-Ahead eagles best performers since joining on-loan in January, and consistency will be key to making the make a step-up from u23 level to senior football.
Crowley’s playing style has drawn comparisons to Jack Wilshere, whose troublesome injuries in recent seasons have seen his development stagnate. Unsurprisingly, Crowley has stressed the need for him to be his own person despite praise and comparisons to players of Wilshere’s quality.
“It was nice but I didn’t want to be compared to him or anyone.
“If you pay attention to the hype, you’ll never be a footballer.
“I want to be my own player and you have to go out and get experience. Otherwise you end up rotting in the u23s and that’s no good for anyone.”
Crowley’s current contract with Arsenal is shortly expiring but the midfielder’s self-belief in his ability has been key to avoid a lack of confidence – which could easily spiral out of control.
“I believe in myself, I know I’ll be a Premier League footballer and if that’s at Arsenal then great but if the manager doesn’t think he can give me that chance then I’ll have to go elsewhere.
“I’m fine with that and I’ll still respect the boss. But I don’t want to stay for the sake of it.”
It’ll be interesting to see whether Crowley does extend his existing deal at Arsenal, as he is a talented player but one that hasn’t been given an opportunity to showcase his ability in or even close to the first-team.
With performances like those in the Eredivisie this term, it seems only a matter of time before he is rewarded for his patience and determination, though.