Tyreece John-Jules has hit the ground running at Doncaster Rovers after completing a season-long loan move from Arsenal, starting up front in both of the team’s League One fixtures so far.
The Gunners were clearly impressed by how the club and manager Darren Moore helped to develop previous loanee Ben Sheaf during a fruitful loan spell in 2019/20, and Rovers have secured in John-Jules a much-needed addition to the forward line.
Doncaster Rovers 1-1 MK Dons
Moore threw the young forward in at the deep end by handing him a start as the lone striker in the opening day clash with MK Dons, just four days after signing from Arsenal, a big show of faith considering the impressive pre-season of Rovers’ contracted main striker Fejiri Okenabirhie.
John-Jules demonstrated why he earned the nod with a busy performance against MK, putting himself about and causing problems for the opposition’s strong three-man defence which included former Manchester United prospect Regan Poole.
In a game largely controlled by MK Dons, Rovers fashioned few chances beyond Madger Gomes’ strike to put the team 1-0 up, but of those few it was John-Jules who was on the end of the majority. In the first half, two good chances went begging for the debutant as he first hit straight at the keeper after being set-up by Ben Whiteman in the penalty area, and then headed over the bar from a Reece James cross off the left-wing.
These were the best opportunities for John-Jules on an afternoon that Rovers found tough, and he was withdrawn after 78 minutes having visibly tired throughout the second half. MK eventually snatched a 1-1 draw that they completely deserved but Tyreece showed glimpses of what he could bring to the team with his physical presence and running into goalscoring positions.
Charlton 1-3 Doncaster Rovers
The Arsenal loanee kept his place up front for the trip to Charlton this past Saturday despite calls from some sections of the fanbase to restore the more established Okenabirhie to the starting line-up.
John-Jules justified the faith shown in him by Darren Moore with a superb display in the 3-1 win topped off by a brilliant individual goal that wrapped up the points for Rovers.
First off though, he played a small but crucial role in the opening goal scored by Madger Gomes. Tyreece’s pressing was excellent from the start of this game and it was his pressure that forced defender Darren Pratley into a giveaway to Jason Lokilo, and moments later Gomes had put Rovers ahead.
The score was 2-0 soon after the break thanks to an own goal, with John-Jules still putting himself about to unsettle Charlton’s back-line without getting a shot in himself. That changed in the 63rd minute however when John-Jules took a pass just inside the area from Whiteman, faced up full-back Ben Purrington and deftly put the ball through the defender’s legs before shrugging off Alfie Doughty and firing an unstoppable effort into the far corner to make it 3-0.
His first Doncaster goal was one for the highlight reel as John-Jules showed incredible skill and cool composure to rip Charlton apart and make the scoreline comfortable for Rovers, who went on to win 3-1. You can watch the goal here.
Tyreece played the full 90 minutes after an injury to James meant Darren Moore had to forego introducing Okenabirhie, but he stood up to the physical rigours of the game well and was still involved in the play right up until the final whistle.
This goal and overall performance should serve Tyreece in good stead for the run of games coming up as he continues to settle in to life at Doncaster Rovers.
Thanks to Adam of Into The Empty Net for providing this report.