Toral signs permanent Arsenal deal

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Jon Toral has signed professional terms with Arsenal following his summer move from Barcelona.

The 17-year-old has made significant steps since his switch from Catalonia, having been promoted to the reserve team following a spell in the Under-18s at the Emirates Stadium.

Toral's three goals in 12 appearances has earned him a place in the club's second string, for whom he made his debut in January in the draw with Aston Villa.

Arsenal paid in the region of £300,000 for Toral last summer, who was unable to sign professional terms with the European Champions until he had turned 17.

He made the switch along with full-back Hector Bellerin last summer, and follows in the footsteps of Fran Merida and Cesc Fabregas in making the move from the La Liga giants to north London early in their careers.

While Merida found his opportunities limited to cameo appearances in the Carling Cup, Fabregas went on to skipper the Gunners during an eight-year spell with the club.

Toral, himself a central midfielder, will be hoping to replicate the impact of Fabregas, who was handed the club captaincy in 2008.

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