Catalin Cirjan hasn’t played for over a year due to a serious knee injury, but the Arsenal youngster finally received some positive news this week.
Cirjan has now returned to light training, with his return to action edging ever closer.
With Arsenal having just two more U23s fixtures remaining this season, both of which take place this month, it seems likely that Cirjan will have to wait until pre-season before he sets foot on the pitch again.
Nonetheless, his return to training is good news, especially given some of the performances that he produced prior to his injury.
A Romanian youth international who joined Arsenal in 2019 following a successful trial, Cirjan made a major impact during his first season with the club as he impressed for the U18s.
The skilful attacking midfielder linked play very well and also showed that he is capable of finding the net himself.
Last season wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for Cirjan as his development was affected somewhat by the fact that he flitted between the U18s and the U23s, which meant that he wasn’t truly able to establish himself for the older age group.
In addition, Cirjan was sometimes used deep in midfield, which helped him to improve defensively but didn’t really allow him to make the best use of his creative talents.
Cirjan may be a little wary of having fallen behind while he has been out, with Arsenal having an abundance of creative and attacking prospects on their books.
However, the 19-year-old will be giving his all as he looks to demonstrate that he can still succeed at Arsenal.
If all goes well on the fitness front then Cirjan could possibly be loaned out for the first time either in the summer or in January.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird