The 2013-14 season is a vital time in the fledgling career of young Arsenal midfielder Thomas Eisfeld. After scoring his first goal for the first-team in the Capital One Cup third-round against West Bromwich Albion, is this set to be the 20 year-old's breakthrough campaign?
After seven years at the Borussia Dortmund academy, Eisfeld moved to Arsenal on January 2012 transfer deadline day for a reported fee of £475,000, following in the footsteps of his idol, Tomas Rosicky.
The young German was making his first ever start for Arsenal at The Hawthorns, having made his first-team debut against Reading the previous season. Arriving as a substitute against the Royals, along with Olivier Giroud and with the score at 4-1, the team was inspired to an incredible comeback, finishing at 5-7 after extra-time.
He also showed great composure in the game against West Brom, latching onto a pass from Nicklas Bendtner and putting the ball past Luke Daniels to score the first goal of the time.
However, despite the goal, he wasn't particularly involved in the match, rarely seeing the ball for large parts. This is one of the common criticisms of the midfielder's play - while he scores many goals, he has a tendency to almost 'disappear' in matches, with some saying that this will hinder his chances of breaking through.
Arsene Wenger has himself admitted this, saying: "He is a Pires type," then going on to say "He appears to be in the box without being noisy and appearing suddenly. When he is there, he finishes well.
"He has that kind of quality that some midfielders have - not many. They have the timing to get in dangerous situations. When they have those dangerous situations, they are like snakes. They bite you to death because they don't miss their first touch.
"He's cool enough in front of goal and he finishes well."
Whether his goal-scoring exploits will be enough to see him break through into the packed Arsenal midfield remains to be seen. For now, Eisfeld may have to go out on loan, in order to gain vital first-team experience.
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