Dani Ceballos may be fit again after his hamstring injury but he hasn’t been included in the squad for Arsenal’s clash with Crystal Palace this afternoon.
Judging by Mikel Arteta’s comments in his pre-game press conference, he has a clear idea of where he might play his compatriot in the future but it sounds as though he’s not quite up to the fitness levels to be considered competitive.
Speaking on Friday, the boss said: “He’s much closer to the fitness levels that I expect from him to be competitive with his teammates.
“Obviously, he had a long-term injury, he had an adaptation to this league.
“I know him really well from Spain, I watched him many, many times. He’s a player who can fit our style and now he needs to make the step forward and make things difficult for me, for my selection.”
Ceballos may be known for his trickery and technical quality but Arteta doesn’t think he’ll use him in Mesut Ozil’s position. Instead, he thinks the Real Madrid loanee will work better as part of a midfield duo.
“I like him more when he’s close to the box rather than coming deep to receive the ball,” explained Arteta.
“Defensively he can play in a two, rather than as a number 10. I don’t really see him as an isolated number 10 playing with two holding midfielder.
“He’s a very creative player, one who can cause problems in the final third, he always wants the ball, he had beig personality to play so I like him.”