The match winner at Sheffield United on Sunday and one of our best performers in the 4-0 win against Norwich this evening; it’s been a good week for Dani Ceballos.
Mikel Arteta certainly likes his compatriot’s current output and thinks the midfielder has what it takes to grease the cogs of Arsenal’s midfield.
As things stand, he’ll only be doing it for the next five weeks, then he’s due to return to Real Madrid. It seems unlikely we’ll commit to a permanent deal when his loan ends, but interestingly, the boss hinted that there has been contact with the Bernabeu.
“Both clubs have been in communication,” said Arteta in his post-game press conference.
“I really like Dani and what he brings to the team.
“When I joined he wasn’t available because he had a difficult injury, but he’s understanding what we’re trying to do really, really nicely and he has big personality to play and take the ball in any area of the field and give us the continuity that we need as a team to control the games better, but as well without the ball.
“The running that he’s putting in, the tackles, every time with the interceptions, his desire to win that ball back and help the team, he’s improved so much and he looks a really good player at the moment.”
Without a crowd at the Emirates, it was very noticeable how much time Arteta dedicated to coaching Ceballos throughout the victory over the Canaries.
His words of wisdom certainly paid dividends. The midfielder completed 57 out of 61 passes (93% completion rate) of which 19 were in the attacking third*. Particularly eye-catching were the passes inside the Norwich full-backs which freed our wide men and a beautifully dinked cross that Lacazette really should have headed home.
All in all, a decent showing. Here’s hoping he can continue this form into the final games of the season. If he does that, perhaps another 12-months in London could suit both parties.
*Via the StatsZone app.