The Spanish international who is on loan from Real Madrid has had few opportunities to show what kind of an impact Arsenal fans can expect from him, due to an injury that halted his run in the side for two months.
Upon his return to the side he has shown some flashes of brilliance under Mikel Arteta as he did under Unai Emery, which is important in my humble opinion. The two Spanish managers are day and night tactically when it comes to expectations for certain players. Under Emery, Dani Ceballos was expected to offer support in defense and start things deep in Arsenal’s territory. While under Arteta, Ceballos seems to be expected to give the middle of the park more of a balance with a measured approach to his attacking duties. To respect Xhaka’s positional switch to the left side of the pitch and act as cover in case of a counter-attack by the opposition.
I feel that new Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes may blind many Arsenal fans and have them praying for an assist machine in the summer instead of Ceballos, but I am here to say if Ceballos is given the keys to the midfield he will do a stellar job.
Reason 1: Ceballos is the second coming of Santi Cazorla
Dani Ceballos is the closest thing to Santi Cazorla Arsenal has had in years from a technical standpoint that is. Ceballos’ talent on the ball allows him to have success in dictating the play and move the ball from deep linking with the Arsenal forward line, which is reminiscent of Santi Cazorla’s style of play. The good ball retention, the ability to squeeze a pass in the tightest of spots, and the ease with which he
Reason 2: Ceballos is a hybrid number 10
Ceballos’ ball progression is a key trait and he is at home playing in a very demanding system as has been the case at Real Betis, Real Madrid and now at Arsenal. Arteta has been on record saying his team will look to play at a quick tempo with high intensity with and without the ball, something Ceballos is comfortable with. He has an 88.9% pass success rate with two assists in his limited appearances for the Gunners leads all of Arsenal’s central midfielders. His average of 1.9 tackles per game and an average of 0.9 interceptions per game in 912 minutes played in the Premier League, ranks him as first in tackles ahead of all of Arsenal’s other midfielders, whereas he sits third behind Torreira and Guendouzi with regards to interceptions. Granted Arsenal’s midfield is not the deepest of midfields and it clearly needs a dominant box to box midfield but in Ceballos, the club could have a versatile dynamo who can work well on both sides of the ball, adding much needed steel.
Reason 3: Even if Arsenal get a new number 10 or box to box midfielder Ceballos still has a pivotal role to play in the side
The Real Madrid loanee possesses the tenacity that is required for a player to effectively play in English football, and even if he has lacked the consistency no one can say that he looks out of depth. A more competent manager, along with a supreme level of technical ability, it is his aggression mixed with his skillful play that makes signing him long-term deal a positive and impactful addition.
Even though he seems to be a divisive player when Arsenal players chat about how to get the team back on track it goes without saying that he improves the team greatly if he can consistently find his best form. The last few games in the league will be critical to Ceballos winning over his current manager and the Arsenal faithful, but with the Euros coming next year the onus is on the player to find a home and get regular game time throughout the 2020/21 season.