After impressing on loan with Go Ahead Eagles last season, Daniel Crowley is back in the Netherlands but this time signing permanently for Willem II. 

  • By James Rowe
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Born in Coventry but with Irish family, Crowley started his career in the Aston Villa academy but was poached by Arsenal at the age of 17 after they were impressed by his ability in the 2013 Nextgen Series.

He impressed for the Arsenal U18’s and U21’s over the next two years and was included in the first team’s pre-season tour of Singapore. Crowley was then loaned to Barnsley, where he scored in the League Cup again Everton. Then Barnsley manager Lee Johnson described Crowley as ” The best 16-year-old that he has ever seen.”

However, after only 12 appearances he was recalled by Arsenal. He didn’t make a single appearance for the Premier League side for the rest of the 2015/16 season and last summer was loaned to Oxford United. That loan was not successful and ended early, allowing Go Ahead Eagles to bring him to Deventer in January. The midfielder was a regular in the Eredivisie, netting twice and providing two assists in 16 games, but he couldn’t prevent Go Ahead’s relegation.

Crowley returned to Arsenal this summer but with only one year left on his contract he was deemed surplus to requirements. He was linked with Championship and Bundesliga sides, but instead opted to join Willem II on a three-year deal.

Style of Play

Crowley is a creative attacking midfielder who can play on the wing, but is more influential in the number 10 slot. He has elegant technique, good vision and loves to dribble with the ball. He showed for Go Ahead that he can score goals and provide assists with a cultured right foot, which is a weapon from set pieces.

The youngster isn’t tall or strong but makes up for this with his movement and is always looking for pockets of space to run into. Coming through the Arsenal Academy he was constantly compared to Jack Wilshire.

What to expect from Crowley this season

Crowley was highly regarded in the Arsenal Academy and his signing could be a real coup for Willem II if they can unlock his potential. The 20-year-old made a good impression for Go Ahead last season despite their relegation and he will be aiming to keep Willem II away from trouble. Impressing in Tilburg could put the Englishman in the shop window for bigger clubs.

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