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.