I’m late to the party, buuuuuuuuut… welcome BACK to Arsenal, Dani Ceballos.
This is huge for our season. Dani started 2019 well, then slumped into averageness under poor leadership and an unstructured system. He then made things worse by trying to cut his loan spell short under Mikel… but then something clicked for him and he hasn’t looked back since. His restart stats were amongst the best in the league. He’s proven to be an aggressive presser of the ball, he loves to tackle, his reading of the game makes him expert at interceptions… he’s looked the real deal. Could do with some refining of that final third passing, but that’ll come.
Here is what he had to say.
“I think everyone will have seen last season that from the moment I joined, I bought into the club completely and always gave 100 per cent both on and off the pitch,”
The fans love Dani because of this. He also seems to love the adulation he gets from the fans and he always looked like he wanted to crack it in England. I’ve not seen a player enjoy the fans as much since Patrick Vieira donned the shirt.
“The fans repaid me for that by showing me a lot of love… when I was at home they were sending me messages asking me to come back and saying that they needed me here. I think they’ll be as happy as I am that I’m back and I’m sure we have a great year ahead of us this season.
“When the coach, the club, the players and everyone is asking you to stay for another year, you realise that they see you as a good team-mate and a good player,”
“I feel proud that the club, the coach and – most importantly – the fans wanted me to stay. I didn’t doubt it for a second. We’ve been negotiating around my contract all the time, right up until today, but I’m very happy to be back here and that I’m going to be with Arsenal for another year.”
Now, I know we like to think the players don’t pay attention to the fans, but here we are again, a second player in a week commending the lunatic fanbase that DMs and begs them to join. I feel like it’s quite a unique Arsenal thing and it amuses me no end that Arsenal’s digital fanbase is now an official secret weapon of the recruitment team.
Edu, who is trying to cement his importance in a post-Raul era, had this to say.
‘We’re thrilled to have Dani back with us for the new season. We all know his qualities after an impressive 2019/2020 campaign, which ended with him playing a key role in our FA Cup success. We’re excited to add Dani to the list of quality players we are bringing in.’
DID YOU READ IT: ‘to the list of quality players we are bringing in’
That’s great news. I’m hearing whispers that ESR might be loaned out this season. If that is true, it might indicate that we’ve found someone for the role of ‘playing in the pockets’… could be Willian or it might be someone else. Either way, it seems Edu is confident that we’re going to bring in more names.
I suspect we’ll see a big week next week for exits. Sokratis, Torreira, Holding should find new clubs. I also wonder if we’ll start to see Matteo, Lacazette, and maybe Bellerin noises grow louder. It’s clear we need to sell to buy, and it seems like clubs are starting to move. The season literally starts next week, bumming around on deals makes little sense to anyone…
Interesting to see Wolves moving hard. They offered £15m for AMN. 100 games in the Premier League. Just pocketed some of the deadliest wide players. Won an FA Cup and Community Shield. We turned them down. So what do they go out and do? Drop a club record £35m on an 18-year-old from Porto with 12 games and 1 goal to his name during a pandemic. He’s the Football Manager wet dream, but that valuation seems nuts (especially as his break out season last year didn’t really come to much). That’s Van De Beek / Partey levels of money. I do not miss ‘contacts’ scouting.
Arsenal were beaten 3-2 by Villa today. It was a behind-closed-doors affair. Not great, but hey, preseason is all about experimenting. Ceballos, Auba and Willian played… annnnnd, Mesut Ozil! No blonde hair this preseason. Is this forgiveness? Has he found a way back? Is ESR going out on loan because Mesut is back in favour? It’d be a huge 180, but in keeping with a manager that doesn’t hold grudges if you do what he asks of you. You can’t say our midfield doesn’t need the playmaker’s creativity… question is, can we get it combined with the off the ball work we don’t normally get? Jury is out.
Let’s hope we’re ready for the big game after the international break! Also… let’s hope Arsenal speed up those midfield signings!
Right, that’s all I have for you today… see you tomorrow. x