Oxford United manager Michael Appleton has warned 19-year-old midfielder Daniel Crowley that he needs to be more professional if he wants to keep playing under him.
The young playmaker is currently at the Kassam Stadium on a season’s loan from Arsenal, and seems to have enjoyed a decent start to life in the third tier, making 11 total appearances and scoring twice.
But his manager believes that an apparent lack of professionalism is threatening to hinder his development.
The player was not considered for selection in Oxford’s 4-1 victory over Coventry City on the weekend, a decision which Appleton took to allow the player reflection time.
“I didn’t think his head was in the right place, so he was left out of the squad”, Appleton told Oxford Mail.
“There are a couple of issues I want to make sure are addressed in terms of what he does on and off the field.
“He’s a 19-year-old lad who has fantastic ability, but his professionalism at times lets him down.”
Crowley joined Premier League giants Arsenal from Aston Villa’s academy in 2013, and is yet to make a senior appearance for the London club.
In the past he has spent time on loan at Barnsley, a period in which then-manager Lee Johnson hailed Crowley as the best 18-year-old player he had ever seen.
However, Appleton believes the player needs to learn to keep his off-field life from interfering with his game in order to be a valued member of the Oxford side.
“He’s had a few issues at Arsenal and Barnsley previously. It’s all a massive learning curve for him.
“Ultimately sometimes when people step out of line you have to put them in their place.”