Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Arteta on Ceballos return and Elneny future

Mikel Arteta says Dani Ceballos would like to return to Arsenal but Real Madrid still seem to be deliberating over their stance on the player.

After an injury-hit first half of the season, the 23-year-old became an integral part of the Gunners midfield featuring in 13 consecutive Premier League matches and five out of six matches in our FA Cup-winning run.

At the tail-end of July, it sounded like we were close to securing another season-long loan but since then he’s been recalled to pre-season training at the Bernabeu despite a frosty relationship with head coach Zinedine Zidane.

Asked about his compatriot, Arteta explained: “We had some talks. Dani knows really well what I think about him. He was pretty clear with me as well that his intention was to remain with us.

“Obviously, Real Madrid is involved there and I don’t know yet what they want to do with the player.

“He is a player we are interested in because we really saw in the last few months of the season what he is capable of bringing to us.”

Back in Spain, El Mundo Deportivo report that Ceballos has told Madrid that he’d like to return to former club Real Betis. For that to happen, they’d need to sell a few players which could mean things drag out for a few more weeks.

While we seek clarity over Ceballos’ future, it appears that we’ll retain Mohamed Elneny as an insurance policy. Frozen out by Unai Emery, the Egypt international spent went out on loan to Turkish side Besiktas and enjoyed a solid season.

On Tuesday, he featured in Arsenal colours getting on the scoresheet in our first pre-season game against MK Dons.

A former teammate of Arteta, the boss knows exactly what the 28-year-old is about.

“I know Mo really well,” he told the press ahead of Saturday’s Community Shield clash with Liverpool.

“I played with him, so I know what he can be and I know his strengths and weaknesses really well.

“He’s a really positive character to have around and he has some really good qualities as well and like anybody else, in the moment that he is with us, he will be given all our support and the best possible environment for them to perform as high as they can.

He added: “We don’t know [if he’ll stay for the season]. The sixth of October is still too far, as I said. It’s pretty unpredictable to know what’s going to happen.”

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To me, that says Elneny is more than likely going to be off.


Of course he is. Nice lad who works hard but given we already need to improve significantly in centre midfield it would be daft to return to using someone who is worse than our existing options. The question is can we get anyone to buy him, given we couldn’t last summer.


DPK- I wouldn’t say he’s worse than Guendouzi. Seen you on multiple threads slagging off Elneny and painting up Guendouzi like the next Zidane. Both are taking extremes btw. As a squad option I’d definitely keep Elneny, low wages, works hard, hardly ever has a bad game. And most of all he can thrive under Arteta like most others have.

If you need any reminders how he doesnt just pass backwards/sideways and no output to the attack, here’s Mo’s debut season:



I think Guendouzi is a better player than Elneny, you don’t but just to be clear : you have seen me on this thread saying I don’t think Elneny is good enough & on another I have said Guendouzi is ‘a potentially very good player’. I think you might need to think about your own taking extremes by misrepresenting what I have said. And Guendouzi is on lower wages by the way seeing as you brought that into it.

He may improve under Arteta but personally I don’t think there is the slightest chance he is in Arteta’s plans.


Hah, I’d like to see what you have to say now after his performance in the community shield. Have a feeling your pride is too big to admit anything though.

Peter Hill Would

I’m an eternal optimist and having read the article I was thinking maybe Elneny could come do a job for us.

But that video was appalling! A YouTube highlights reel that’s mostly just fouls and some tidy midfield passing with no end product.

Unless he’s improved significantly on loan Elneny is not at Arsenal’s level. Even as a squad player


So if everybody is staying, then who is leaving? Or is this a ruse to make it seem like Arsenal are not that desperate.


Everybody is staying until they leave. But when they leave, they are no longer staying. Some maybe will leave when they expected to stay, while others we expect to leave may stay. Who knows, they may even become mainstays.

bad adi

that’s how it works.


I like elneny, he’s a solid midfielder, grafts for the team and rarely makes a mistake.


You love the fact that he’s conservative and doesn’t risk forward play to make an impact on the game when it gets tough.

Honestly, he’s a nice guy I’m sure, but he’s not cut out for this football club. The next step requires that we get rid of our deadwood.


Deadwood? That’s not what Arteta thinks of him, he played with him and he knows he’s a quality midfielder and is quite happy to keep him at Arsenal as when called upon he will give you 100% effort!!

Anders Limpar

I entirely agree, ELneny was horrendously scapegoated during Emeryball! He’s a solid no frills midfielder and is never going to set the premier league on fire, but can be relied on to do a certain job in the middle when required.
Not that we need centre back cover, but in an emergency, say all subs used, he can fill in there too.


May I add he can play CB as well and was a good and emergency cover for us under Wenger. I remember him lining up with Monreal at CB and he got through the game without a mistake unlike the actual CB we have like Mustafi and co who are actual CB and can’t be trusted to get through a single game without a mistake. For me I hope he stays as a squad player. He’s also a good passer and tackler. there’s a reason Wenger bought him. he keeps it tidy and moving. Also its not true he doesn’t… Read more »

A Different George

Elneny is a bit better than he’s being portrayed, though not good enough to be a regular starter for us. A lot of his negative qualities–safe, square or backward short passes, his tendency to follow his pass rather than move forward to receive a return–seem, at least in part, to be by instruction. When he (apparently) is told to play with more abandon, he is much more impressive and creative. Again, I’m not saying he is Kevin De Bruyne (he’s not even Kevin’s brother-in-law’s cousin), just that he has more skill than he often shows, is able to carry out… Read more »


Last season we had Xhaka, Ceballos, Torreira & Guendouzi…all of whom are better players than Elneny….and pretty much everyone agrees we need to get stronger in that position…..so arguably it would be a disaster if he was in our squad for next season ?
Nothing against him, but realistically Arsenal was a step too far for him.
(Willock also, who you could make a case for Elneny being better than….but you hope far more to come from Willock)


He’s not a bad player to have in the squad and with the amount of games coming thick and fast he would be a useful option to have. Unless we get a decent offer to buy we’d be better off keeping him than loaning him out for peanuts, he’s not on a big salary and he always does his best.


50k a week is not huge granted in today’s football world, but on a tight budget it’s money that could much better be spent elsewhere


Player is good- He can contribute to Arsenal- Not sure what future will hold. I think this will be standard Arteta response template regarding all our existing players till end of transfer window. At this point, there is nothing more we can realistically expect Arteta to say to the press. We can just hope him and Edu is working behind the scenes to push out all the deadwood and raise some money for transfers.


We’re really skint are we…


There was one time when Xhaka looks like he is gg off but all that changed when Arteta comes on board, it paid off. Not going to slender Mo, he is afterall one of us. Hardworking and good squad player. If he goes, best of luck, if he stays, I’ll support him and hope he has a positive impact.


Elneny – Not good enough if we want to be serious contenders, great if we are happy to be in mid table. Of course he may later be touted as the next best option and people will be having a wank at how good his goal was against …MK Dons.

Ceballos – Out of our hands.

Meanwhile whilst we recruit in some areas (Yet another Cback) we risk neglecting midfield the all important engine room again.

This is the problem if we do not have clear goals and direction and people who have in trench experience with transfers.


True, we must have a clear plan – and perhaps we do. We need to sell, to raise money and cut the wage bill, but have singularly failed so far (although there’s still time to get a few deals done). The basic problem remains: clubs don’t want to buy most of the players we want to sell (more than a dozen according to recent reports – staggering if true) and we can’t offer the kind of money that several of Arteta’s targets appear to require. It’s a real tricky dicky.

Peter Hill Would

This is early days in the transfer market still.

I have only mild concern that we have done zero proper business so far (Willian aside). I will escalate to gnawing anxiety in 2 weeks if the situation is the same.


I’m going to be the one spouting the unpopular opinion here… but I’ve a real feeling that Mo Elneny won’t be sold summer… He’s not only going to be good, he’s going to be integral!

My belief is that he’s going to be a fantastic squad player, and amazingly, I’m okay with that.


Real Madrid are annoying.


Quite, but I’d love Arsenal to be in the same league (or anywhere near, really) as that “mega-club” … we can always dream! It doesn’t surprise me that Cellabos has been recalled despite his relationship with Zidane. People don’t realise that it’s Florentino Perez, the club president, who has the last word on virtually everything there, not the coach. They come and go (including Zidane, of course) but old Flo remains.

Crash Fistfight

Apologies if it wasn’t you previously, but I think you made that point about Florentino Perez previously. What I didn’t get then (and still don’t now) is why you think Florentino Perez would want to keep a player at the club he knows the manager won’t play. He might ultimately make all the decisions on who gets signed and sold, but who plays is not up to him. Given Zidane fucked off previously because Perez didn’t give him enough power with regards to player recruitment, I’d also imagine one of the conditions of Zidane’s return as manager was him being… Read more »


I haven’t spoken to Perez but if I did, I think he’d say Cellabos was brought back to try and start a bidding war between a La Liga club (possibly Real Betis, but there could be others) and – at least – Arsenal. Who plays is a trickier issue that you suggest. Given that Perez decides who signs, he has his favourites and they tend to get played. Don’t take my word for it, read Marca. In the real world (no pun) I don’t think any coach there lays down conditions. Basically, you survive on how you do in the… Read more »


Okay side to side and pack passer. Has a nice smile and seems like a good fella.From what I’ve seen, not so good at progressing the ball forward in attack or picking out that special pass to an attacker, which is what we so badly f*cking need.


https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1328233/Arsenal-news-Mikel-Arteta-Matteo-Guendouzi-decision-swap-deal-transfer-talks May want to pay attention to this instead… As mentioned before we haven’t handled the Guendouzi situation well. Now that we seem to have put our eggs into Manghales (not to mention for salaries on Willian), we will have less in the pot for midfield and with Partey a lofty (almost unrealistic goal never mind Aouar), looks like the gaffer now has to go in with humble pie to Guendouzi. Hopefully the young Frenchman has come to his senses. As I mentioned, we should not be selling him anyway, he should have been at most sent on good loan.… Read more »

Peter Hill Would

Letting play pass you by because you’re laying on the floor sulking is not passion or heart.

I like Guendouzi and think there’s a decent player in there somewhere. But he seems massively immature and his ego is outstripping his talent by at least 3:1 at the moment.

I’d like him to stay, but only if he can eat some humble pie and get on board with Arteta’s plan for him.


My issue beyond his lack of emotional intelligence is Guen has not improved at all. Saka and Martinelli set the standard for young players, Guen is miles from it. On his best days he is as good as Xhaka (with all the same weaknesses). On his worst days he is the emperor with no clothes, badly exposing our defense by constantly being out of position. Bottom line is 56 games played, 0 goals, 1 assist, 56% tackle, 43% header, 10% crosses and a 43% win rate with him on the pitch. That is a below average output by any standard.… Read more »


For me, if I were Arteta and the transfer team, with Partey high priced, Ceballos purported preference for Betis, I would have as said before tried to get Aoaur in but spend the main proportion of funds on him. with regard the Xhaka alternative/backup, that’s where we could get an experience player for a year in either Khedira (surplus to Juve) or Banega (on his way to Al Saad). Either will do great for us. I would not have bothered with Manghales to be honest, worked in bedding in Mari and Saliba. Also would not have spent on Willian in… Read more »

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Elneny is an expensive Joe Willock. That’s the problem. Even teams like Brighton have Dutch first-team footballers now.


My two cents as an Egyptian on elneny. If Arsenal were to get a Hossam Arour then Elneny is a key player, if not then Elneny is a squad player. Elnenys strengths are his stamina, tidy mistake free play, tackling, off the ball movement (he always makes himself available to his teammates its uncanny), and obviously good character. He is a perfect compliment to a creative ball controlling cm partner but if you dont have that he becomes a liability on attack and should be used as a squad player.


I love Mohammad Elneny. He was a great engine which is something really important for the style Arteta is trying to use.
The one big weakness is his first touch which is very poor for a midfielder. If a midfielder allows the ball to move away more than a foot upon receiving it means there is more than 50% chance that the close-by opponents will nip it.


We give RM Laca and they give us 30 mil and Cebellos!

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