Jon Toral is confident he is ready to challenge for a place in Arsenal’s first team after a successful season-long loan at Birmingham City.
Toral won the Supporters’ Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards at Birmingham’s end of season bash on Monday.
The 21-year-old is yet to play for the Gunners but believes he will be given a chance by Arsene Wenger to prove he can emulate the likes of Alex Iwobi and Hector Bellerin in graduating from the academy.
He said: “Seeing players like Alex and Hector, they have been given the chance and taken it. I look forward to what’s coming next.
“Arsenal have always been a team which has given young guys a chance and that was one of the reasons which made me go there when I was 16.
“I think I’m ready but it’s not for me to decide, you need someone to give you the chance at that level and it’s up to Arsenal to decide if I’m ready or not.
“As a player, the next step is playing at the highest level and that’s the Premier League.”
Wenger has come under heavy pressure from fans for failing to win the league, which went to shock winners Leicester, but Toral backed the Frenchman to finally deliver.
He said: “There’s no one more capable of getting a title for Arsenal than the gaffer. They have been closer this season and we’ll see what happens next year.”
The Spaniard, who spent time on loan at Brentford last season, scored eight goals in 38 games for Gary Rowett’s Championship side, but his campaign ended early after a hamstring injury in April.
“It would have been better to finish off in the play-offs and fighting for promotion but it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.
“I’ve learnt a lot on and off the pitch. I’ve learnt so much from the Championship and from my team-mates and the staff.”