Premier League: Top Gun Cruise looking to become Arsenal’s loan star
ARSENAL’S Thomas Cruise has admitted that he is keen on a loan move this season to continue his progress through the ranks at the Emirates.
Cruise, 19, is a reserve team regular and made his first-team debut last December in the Champions League game against Olympiakos in Athens.
Although the Gunners lost 2-0 that night, left-back Cruise has impressed for the second string, and enjoyed a fine summer helping England reach the semi-finals of the Under-19s European Championships in France.
Now the former pupil of Islington Green School, who grew up in Canonbury, wants to get a taste of some first-team action at another club with Gael Clichy and Kieran Gibbs ahead of him in the current pecking order at left-back.
“I’d like to go out on loan this season and get experience, something which would be a big benefit for me,” admitted Cruise.
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“If the chance arises, I’d like to move to a team that likes to play a good passing game. Also, as well as defence, I’d like to play in midfield where you see a lot of the ball and are more involved.”
Cruise was a member of Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup-winning side in 2009, and now wants to follow in the footsteps of some of his team-mates from that side such as Jack Wilshere (loaned to Bolton last season), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Blackpool) and Henri Lansbury (Watford).
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This season two more members of that side, striker Sanchez Watt (Leeds) and Kyle Bartley (Sheffield United), are also getting Championship action.
But Cruise knows that Arsene Wenger is unlikely to allow him out on loan while the Gunners are still in the Carling Cup, and the teenager is in line to start in the third round clash at White Hart Lane on September 21.
“Obviously I’d like to get into the Carling Cup squad but if I don’t get that chance, I’ll happily go on loan,” he said.
“Then hopefully when I come back I could get involved in the first team. But I haven’t spoken to the manager yet.”
Cruise’s next international target will be winning a place in Stuart Pearce’s Under-21 side, and he did his chances no harm in the summer after helping the Under-19s to the last four, even scoring a rare goal in the 3-2 group stage win over Austria.
“Playing against the top international teams in the world was great,” he added.
“I played in quite a few positions out there as well, which was nice. I definitely took something out of the experience. Unfortunately we didn’t do enough to get to the final but I learned a lot.”