Eisfeld Signs for Fulham: Good Move for the Player and the Club
Over the years, Arsenal has garnered a reputation for brooding young talent that were afforded opportunities to show what they’re made of in the world stage. While some youngsters have managed to grab the bull by the horns, others have failed to make their mark in North London. Thomas Eisfeld, unfortunately, falls into the latter category.
At a time when Arsenal needed to bolster its attacking options following Gervinho’s departure for the 2012 African Cup of Nations, Arsene Wenger re-signed Thierry Henry on loan and bought a young German from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of £420,000. At that point in time, he had netted six goals and created six assists for the Dortmund Under-19’s and great things were expected of him.
Wenger even had some sweet words for the lad when he sealed a move to North London,
“Thomas is a player we have liked for some time. We’ve watched him closely this season, where he has excelled for Dortmund’s youth team.
He is young but has proven to us that he can play, that he has the attitude and technical ability to be a valuable addition to our squad. We’re very pleased to welcome him to the Club and look forward to his contribution in the coming seasons.”
With the vast array of attacking talent in Arsenal’s disposal, I had a hunch that Eisfeld might struggle to make his mark for the Gunners but I’d believed that the FA / League Cup would be the breeding grounds for the lad. As expected, Eisfeld didn’t make any appearance for the remainder of the 2011/12 season but he’d fathomed that his time to shine would arrive in the following campaign.
The start of the 2012/13 season saw the Gunners capture Santi Cazorla from cash-strapped Malaga and the diminutive Spaniard went on to have an amazing debut season with the club. With the likes of Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey always available to be selected when Santi Cazorla was to play at the wings, the chances for Eisfeld were few and far between but his moment arrived when the Gunners visited the Madejski Stadium to play Reading in that epic quarterfinal clash.
The lad had a good debut and he controlled the game superbly as the Gunners went on to win 7-5. That turned out to be Eisfeld’s only contribution in the 2012/13 campaign but he finally started a game last season in the Capital One Cup penalty shootout victory over West Brom. In that game, he received a neat pass from Nicklas Bendtner and side-footed the ball with such clinical effectiveness.
After the game, Wenger likened Eisfeld to Robert Pires,
“He is a Pires type. He appears to be in the box without being noisy and appearing suddenly. When he is there, he finishes well. Thomas has that kind of quality that some midfielders have—not many. They have the timing to get in dangerous situations.”
After two and-a-half years frolicking in Arsenal’s Reserves, Eisfeld was approached by Fulham and after agreeing terms and passing his medical, he has switched his allegiances from the Emirates to Craven Cottage. The West Londoners were recently relegated and there has been an extensive upheaval in the summer. In his bid to return to the Premier League next season, Felix Magath has signed nine players already.
Eisfeld shouldn’t expect that he’d walk straight into the Fulham team because he’s arriving from a prestigious club like Arsenal. However, a player with his skill sets can be beneficial to Fulham and he can play a role in their surge for a swift Premier League return next season.
Wenger is a known promoter and developer of young talents into superstars, and the fact that Eisfeld never got a sniff of first team football at AFC, despite the presence of many other attacking midfielders, just shows that maybe he doesn’t have the potential to ever become world class – Jandre RSA Bezuidenho
Notwithstanding, it was a good move for the player and the club.
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