Mikel Arteta has once again sung the praises of Dani Ceballos after the midfielder put in another excellent display in the 1-1 draw with Leicester last night.

He provided a beautiful pass which enabled Bukayo Saka to create the opening goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the Arsenal boss was particularly pleased with the defensive improvement his compatriot is showing.

It’s something that Arteta has been working intensely with him on, to help him play a key role in a midfield duo with Granit Xhaka, and over the last couple of weeks his performance levels have been consistently high.

“He was superb again,” said Arteta. I think him and Granit have created a really good understanding.

“They give us a lot of balance and a lot of stability with the ball to make the right decision in moments of transition and they are evolving a lot together.

“Defensively, Dani has made a big step forward with the way he is pressing, the amount of interceptions that he is putting in and he is enjoying it.”

And the manager made it sound as if he wants those at executive level to sort out a deal, loan or otherwise, for the 23 year old for the upcoming season.

“I am really happy with him,” he said in response to a question about keeping Ceballos.

“I think it is something that the club has to go a little bit further with Real Madrid on. At the moment he is playing very well, I am really happy with him and he is a big talent and still has a lot of things to improve.”

The on-loan Real Madrid man really does deserve credit. Earlier this season Arteta challenged him to improve and show he merited a place in the team after what was a fairly significant injury.

He has done that, worked hard, and shown the kind of commitment the manager is looking for, while other players deliberately exclude themselves from selection because they’re sulking. Let’s hope he can keep it up.

Read today’s Arseblog: Arsenal 1-1 Leicester: Gunners pay the price for first half profligacy

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Saffi

Been brilliant in the last few games

Artetas Assistant

Last game he reinstalled something he had forgotten from our recently past mediocrity: through balls. Boy was no 1 Spain starlet a while ago

Jarghs

The first half of yesterday’s game, he was everywhere. Really impressed me.

Eeleen

For me he is probably the only one who have made me change my mind about his long term future in the club. If we can get him with reasonable prize, it might be worth building a new midfield with him in mind. As much as I rate what Kola, Mustafi, Xhaka, etc have done in under Arteta, we should still move away from them in future (I am very OK with Xhaka being our starting midfielder next year, just don’t think we should build our midfield around him, his cealing is still not high enough for our ambitions), but… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

Only Mikel knows the ceilings of our players. And that’s another important differentiation from Unai, Unai asked for the best the player could give. Mikel drives you towards what he wants you to show, targeting and helping you eliminate your flaws one after the other while still being conscious of your weaknesses and covering them.

Eeleen

For me the difference is that Arteta puts them in the positions where their every flaw isn’t exposed. Defending can be improved a lot by just having the structure in place. Same time we need 5 defenders plus Xhaka on the field for us to look stable and that is because of talent. We don’t have good enough CB’s and working midfield to play with with back four. And I don’t think that back three has to be defensive formation, it can be attacking, but ours isn’t. It is set up like that to cover the flaws in the team.… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

Two of the defenders are excellent attackers pretty much like in every other top team today

Kampala gooner 🤣

Say what you will but he did show some engine yesterday. He ain’t first but my Xhaka covered some ground yesterday

Brett

Agreed – honestly flabbergasted by some people being supportive of re-signing Mustafi. We cannot just settle for someone who has shown a (recent) ability to go a few games without a calamitous mistake. He’s an average player, perhaps one could even describe him as “solid”, but he’s not of the requisite quality to bring us back to the Champions League. Let’s thank him but move on.

A Different George

I’m not sure we should keep Mustafi, but that’s because I’m not sure he won’t make the sort of mistakes he was making. In terms of talent, he is (and always has been) as good as what might be called a second-level Champions League centre half. He is not anywhere as good as Van Dijk, but better than Lovren, and probably as good as Gomez. He is nowhere near as good as Kompany was, but better than Otamendi and at least as good as Stone. Not like Terry was (it pains me to praise this despicable human being), but as… Read more »

db10s

I guess it depends on our finances. To upgrade Mustafi we will need to spend quite a bit.

Right now it looks like the opportunity to sell Guendouzi is there, a top CM replacement is just as important as a top CB right now. Our midfield is imbalanced, we don’t have a mobile ball carrier.

If we can get a good deal on selling 2 center backs from Mustafi, mavropanos, Papa, either chambers or holding. From there we reinvest into 1 top center back.

ArseHobbit

Sign him up. If we do, then given his form, the renaissance of Xhaka, and Torreira & Willock looking sharp too now, we’re perhaps only one central midfielder short of a Partey…

Hi-Jay

That is definitely a good CM roster. Just needs an estabilished attacking midfielder in front of them, one that can be relied upon to produce and show ESR how it’s done. (Grealish would be perfect imo, don’t know how feasible though.)

Artetas Assistant

Or Ozil finally becomes hungry again …

Arsenalista

Honestly think Ozil is done, he hasn’t been doing it for a couple of years now. We keep hoping he is going to rediscover the form he had when he was at Madrid or when he first signed with us but I don’t think that’s going to happen now. I’ve always liked him but he’s past it now. Shame really.

Artetas Assistant

I wouldn’t rule it out completely, his is a special situation

Usmanov

What does he give that Ozil doesn’t? He is not a match for Ozil’s class and yet Arteta keeps pushing him out of the team to accommodate this guy..

We are not creating anything through the middle without Ozil. I hope Arteta realizes this before he goes the way of Emery.

Mutisya

Man. Do you even watch games? Genuine question. Our main problem right now is Laca’s loss of scoring form. We’re creating chances right left and center. An in-form Laca and we’re out of sight by halftime

Voisey

He works a million times harder

LGoooner

Everyone is entitled to an opinion but I’ve never heard one that is so off the mark.
What does he provide that Ozil does not:

  • Interceptions
  • Pressure of opponents when not in possession
  • An existence on the football pitch when defending

Basically everything Ozil does creatively but you trade a goal every once in a blue moon for someone who actually gives a damn about the team and contributes more defensively in 6 months than Ozil has in years.

Once a gunner

Ozil shines when the game is dominated by his team but useless when chasing possession or not with the ball, Ozil is arguably the best creative midfielder presently in the world all he need is possession and runners in front of him he will deliver the killer passes check his assist ratio per match.
But the arsenal team that we have now Ozil is a liability not an asset because we lack ball winners In the team. I will still go with the coach

Kostas

Ozil is not the best creative midfielder in the world PRESENTLY.
Have a look at the Assist and goals tables or chances created per game of the top five leagues. You will not see Ozil anywhere near that.
He the best on the money per goal and assist list.

DaDude

The only stat where Özil is currently in the lead is maybe money earned by minutes played, correct.

AbsolutelyMarvellous

When was the last time you saw Özil play four great games on the bounce? Whatever quality he has is offset by his utter lack of reliability. Arteta has made it clear he won’t accept passengers.

Cultured Determination

how can ozil be a passenger if he doenst bother to run after the bus to even hop on to it.. .cos he has a ‘bad back’ ..

Kentmonkey

He has a much more reliable back.

Did you need a list or is that enough?

gooner

I surely enjoyed the best of Ozil in his and Sanchez era. They have both faded off the scene in similar fashion and different clubs. I cried for Ozil in the Emery era because I genuinely thought it was all Emery sidelining him and we were so dull with no hope in sight. Arteta played Ozil, it’s clear his peak creative days are way behind him and he has too many “injuries ” keeping him out. You see Barcelona going after Pjanic and wonder why Champions League clubs are not rushing to “rescue” his talents from the Arsenal mistreatment. And… Read more »

Cultured Determination

1) work rate
2) playing a CM role
3) defensive contribution

even the thing ozil does best, key passes and assists, have dried up since he signed the contract and decided to retire his mind (and back).

Artetas Assistant

Hunger

kaius

Beyond Ceballos being an absolute baller when he’s on his game, I also noticed one drinks/coaching break where he was encouraging individual team-mates and geeing everyone up after Arteta had finished speaking.

For an on-loan player, that rules

Artetas Assistant

Best loan ever, unorthodox from the old Arsenal way

Timorous Me

Just imagine if he’d been working with and learning from and being motivated by Arteta from last August!

Artetas Assistant

Can’t wait to see that in five months

Martinelli fanboy

The best loan we ever had has to go to benayoun. Was phenomenal. Followed by Kim kaltsrom.

Artetas Assistant

You got me 😂😂
🤔🤔

Futsboller

His celebration on pitch of Saka’s goal against Wolves (caught on the Bench Cam thingy) sold me completely.

Arsenalista

I really like him, I think he is only going to keep on improving with Arteta as manager. This guy will take off, I just hope its with us.

loose_cannon

There’s been a bit of revisionism when it comes to Ceballos. While he was inconsistent under Emery, and most of our players were at least that, he played well for Arteta before the lockdown for the most part. He’s a young player with bags of potential and apparently a willingness to learn, so his recent form under Arteta shouldn’t really be a surprise. Let’s see if the clubs can come up with a deal.

allezkev

Slightly off topic, but is Eddie suspended for one, two or three games?

loose_cannon

I imagine 3 games like Aubameyang earlier this season

SantaClausola

3 games because it was for violent conduct I believe. But because he was given a yellow first of all, It can be appealed to reduce it to a 2game ban apparently, or something like that??

Jalex

I think the red could be appealed no matter what the reason, but the fact the yellow was shown initially means Arsenal suits will have a stronger argument to carry into the appeal.

The danger with appealing is that if the FA judge the appeal to be ‘frivilous’ then they could extend the penalty to a 4-game ban. Because of the initial yellow (and other arguments I’m sure) Arsenal will be more confident of avoiding this extra penalty as their appeal is not ‘frivilous’.

Anonymarse

Seems a tad harsh

Charles MMM

To me it was.

Yrneh

Sign him up on a permanent basis.

LGoooner

I’m unsure about making this move permanent, simply because he doesnt solve any of our midfield problems but the quality he brings is undeniable.

Ipswich Gooner

I think I agree. I have mixed feelings about jumping on board the hype train. He definitely looks to be an improved player and I think he has a great work ethic. I’d be happy to see him get another loan spell as I think this team needs some consistency and I think keeping a good group of players together is as important as keeping consistency in performances. I just don’t know if we should be spending £40m on Ceballos right now. If we were in a different situation then I think he could be a great signing. I just… Read more »

Scott P

If it costs 40m, then I agree we probably can’t afford that for him in this market. If we can get that number down, then I’m all for it. Apparently Real/Zidane don’t really rate him, so maybe we’ll have a shot.

Artetas Assistant

Would you use a Xabi Alonso ?

SantaClausola

He has been brilliant in the last few games. However, just need to throw some caution out here that he has played well in 5 games out of about 25. Of his first 5 games of the season were great but his last 20 were poor, would we still be saying “sign him up?” If we were going to sign one midfielder for next season to push us forward, is Dani that player? I hope if he continues this way, we can get him again on loan with an option to buy maybe, or sign him perm if it’s cheap… Read more »

SantaClausola

*if his first 5 games

Steve Morpurgo

That’s the best I’ve seen him play. Either he has become fitter, bought in to Artetas vision or is beginning to feel like an Arsenal player (or all of them)…

I was not convinced by him but if he continues to play this way, i would be more than happy for him to stay….

santi's thigh grab

Dani’s been an absolute baller the last bunch of games. Arteta knows what he wants and is able to effectively communicate that to Ceballos who has responded. Didn’t want Ceballos to stay until Arteta has him owning the middle of the pitch. I hope the Arsenal hierarchy understands they have a top manager on their hands and don’t fuck it up by not giving him what he needs to bring Arsenal back.

Tanned arse

For me, this guy’s attitude is perfect. He wasn’t getting chances but his game didn’t suit what we needed. It’s almost certain that he’s only ever been utilised for his attacking talent and probably that’s how he views himself(last time I saw him play for spain it was as the left forward). He wanted out, arteta told him what he needed to do but didn’t give him opportunity first to play. He could’ve taken the easy way out but instead changed his natural game. Dug in and ONLY AFTER he’d made that commitment to change was he given the chance.… Read more »

Charles MMM

He was challenged, and he purposely and strongly rose up to the challenge. I love such mentality and more importantly, there’s still room for improvement. That means that he hasn’t even reached his full potentials yet. With a coach like Arteta, one can only begin to imagine and dream of possibilities about his future in Arsenal shirt.

WellArsed

Arteta is launching a proper charm offensive! I hope it works and Ceballos stays for another year at least.

Ozenal

Very significant contrast to Guendouzi.

Ozenal

Mikel spelt out what was lacking in both their individual development needs.

One responded. The other didn’t.