Dani Ceballos must be Arsenal’s Number One target

Ceballos is a Must by AI

It is clear how poor Arsenal are in the midfield. We are almost bereft of quality through the middle in the attacking third. How we got into that situation is clearly up to our squad planning and management.

Stacking up on young, cheap creative midfielders has a better return on investment than on young, cheap defensive midfielders, for example. Creative midfielders are worth more in the transfer market and are far harder to come by. A team that gets itself into a situation whereby it desperately needs top quality attacking midfielders is in a worse situation than one that desperately needs quality defensive midfielders.

Attacking midfielders are some of the best assets in football. We sold Chamberlain and Iwobi for 70 million euros combined, for instance. Imagine if we had taken 30 million euros out of that and went after both Martin Odeegard and Thiago Almada when they were both unproven rough diamonds?

There was a reason when under Arsene Wenger we always bought creative midfielders. Midfielders are simply some of the best assets in football. We could dominate teams with our abundance of midfield talent, despite an average defence and attack. And those creative midfielders are worth a lot in the transfer market.

Yet here we are. Since Wenger left, we haven’t bought one single creative midfielder. And now we are in desperate need. Guess how much they cost.

For the past three windows, we’ve watched players like Sarabia, Fekir, Paredes transfer to teams for relatively mediocre sums. Any of these would be a huge improvement to our midfield today, and we could have gotten them cheaply much earlier. This is why Arsenal must sign Ceballos. It is obvious that Ceballos is unwanted by Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. It is obvious that Ceballos has no problem signing for us. And it is obvious that his transfer fee won’t be a problem if we negotiate well.

Ceballos can play as the deepest midfielder and further forward. He has enough quality to be an asset in everywhere in midfield. He has proven himself in the Premier League. He’s only 23. He’s part of the Spanish national setup. He’s one of the bargains available in this transfer window and we have got pole position.

If we don’t sign Ceballos, it will be difficult to find another comparative top talent like him for the same price he’s available for. Even if we did sign someone like him, they’d still need to go through an adaptation process. Ceballos is ready made, loves the club, can only get better, and is cheaply available.

It is difficult to do better. If we don’t sign him, we’d need to have to sign at least two first-team midfielders for serious money. Now that’s a situation Arsenal must avoid.

Agboola Israel


  1. Dani Ceballos? We should retain him yes but should he be arsenal’s #1 target? Hell no! Partey should be the priority!

    1. Why should Partey be the priority because you like him? We need creative player in middle that is the most we have missed since santi left. We can’t keep the ball, there is no one to link defence to attack and no one to dictate the pace of game. Partey is B2B and we have 3 players who can fill that spot. What is this obsession of Arsenal fans with Partey? Remember he plays in a team and structure which is in a way tailor made for him. He plays in defence focused team we are absolutely opposite in the way we play. He will be exposed with out the right help and then same fans who are singing his name, will be abusing him and the club.

  2. Don’t disagree with your rationale, Pat regarding Danny Ceballos at a cost of €27 million. However Arsenal’s biggest problem in midfield has been the lack of a specialist DM since Gilberto Silva left. That’s why Arsenal needs another €20+million for Amadou Diawara from Roma.
    Thomas Partey as the box to box midfielder in the midfield three will be more important for balance and the physicality of the EPL, than another CAM like Aouar and cheaper.
    Funds can be utilised from the cash reserve in the short term until players can be sold.

    1. Ozzie, PAT did NOT write this article, Agboola did.` I also do not know why the Admins use their own name for posting when the articles are written by another person but that IS the case!

      1. I have to proofread and edit all guest posts before publishing…
        I can’t have everyone posting willy Billy. They need checking and scheduling..

        1. My apologies, Agboola in not giving you credit.
          I totally accept that the administrators have to proofread and vet the content; I just picked the wrong name.
          As much as I appreciate jon drawing this to my attention, I would prefer if jon made comment on my content, please.

  3. He turned 24 last week.

    Adding Partey and him to summer signings would represent a very good window. Don’t agree with others that we necessarily need a specialist DM. Two box to box players with defensive abilities + a ball carrying AM or offensive CM (in the mould of ESR) would be balanced enough imo.

  4. Crystal palace just signed Eze from QPR for just 16million, watch out for that guy next season, he has everything zaha doesn’t have, he can play free kicks, he can shoot, he knows when to pass the ball and when to dribble. I just wish he’s playing for us.

  5. OT.. Diego Costa might be heading to the spuds… 3 things I can’t stand spuds>maureen>costa… a match made in heaven!!

    1. Sounds good to me Sue. The spuds will spend most of the time with 10 men on the field!

      Happy days!! 🙂 :0 🙂

  6. I am not sure he should be our number one target, but yes, we desperately need a top quality DM/CM. We are very short of quality, and quantity in central midfield.

  7. Good article actually!

    Dani Ceballos should be a priority because he is used to the EPL and in particular, Arsenal’s setup. Too much change too soon can destabilise the team so I agree. Dani Ceballos is important.

    Does any one know anything about Torriera leaving yet? We may just need him yet if the whole Partey and Co. thing breaks down!

    I’m quite sure the club are looking at shifting a few first but the sooner we get something solid sorted out for the midfield the better!

    1. Fiorentina are interested, in a loan deal…
      About time we saw some outgoings.. everything seems to take so long with us! What’s the betting Chelsea will be on their 8th player by the time Auba is announced…. 😄

        1. Ah, ok thanks Sue. He needs more playing time and hopefully he will get it at Fiorentina?

          He may just come back a better player?

          At least they also pay the wages!

          1. Hasn’t happened yet, GunneRay… waiting for something to happen at Arsenal is kinda like waiting for hell to freeze over 😂

  8. “Creative midfielders are worth more in the transfer market and are far harder to come by. A team that gets itself into a situation whereby it desperately needs top quality attacking midfielders is in a worse situation than one that desperately needs quality defensive midfielders.”

    Your opinion is limited by your ignorance of the Iberian peninsula. In both Spain and Portugal top quality creative midfielders are far more numerous than top DMs. Partly it’s due to local talent and partly due to all the talented South Americans arriving to Spain or Portugal.

    The only advantage Ceballos has over similar quality players in Spain is his EPL experience. If the price is right, fine, but if an equally good player is available for less, we should not cry a river over a player with Ceballos’s inconsistency (which was a trait even before joining Arsenal).

  9. I agree with whoever said above that Ceballos and Partey would mark a great window. Those two and Xhaka cover the midfield 2 in a back 5 and two out of those three with Willian in behind the front three in a back 4.
    A CAM would be great but I’d run with Willian and see if Arteta can squeeze anything out of Ozil. Next year when Ozil is off the books and Willian is a year older is the time to splash out big time on Auar or someone similar.

    1. As an aside, would love to see AMN in the middle with Xhaka tomorrow. Assuming Bellerin starts on the right.

  10. He hasn’t convinced me yet. A couple of ok games but no brilliance that I’ve seen. Has he been played as AM? Looks more deep lying playmaker but without really making the play. I think Torreira and Guendozi play that role just as well. Also we have so many AM that they’re all leaving just to get a game.

  11. Dani has removed Arsenal from his Twitter page…. I know he’ll be training with Real, I just hope we can strike a deal over him returning to NL. Although the way things are going right now – at a sloth’s pace – I don’t hold out much hope of seeing him before Christmas haha!!

  12. It sounds like you are settling because the price is right. Not a good reason to buy. Ceballos is limited and limited players always fade in the EPL. We know Arsenal had many of those. If we are talking a one year loan that makes sense but a purchase might not be wise.

  13. I like ceballos but I think we need a better attacking midfielder than him, can Wllian play in that position, well arteta ll decide

  14. Arsenal have just tweeted about 3 additional coaches joining us…. not exactly what I wanted to hear! How about news on Auba, maybe Gabriel?! News about sorting our midfield out… as our season starts tomorrow and what will our midfield be – Xhaka, Elneny, Willock??!!! Oh dear….. 😬

    1. Sue, if the Scousers look at your midfield they’ll be shaking in their boots tomorrow!!! Don’t have emojis on my laptop keyboard but I think you know the one I would use in triplicate?

      1. Andrew, the only way the scousers would be shaking in their boots would be if word got out that the Arsenal midfielders had been ordered to risk being sent off to cripple them.

  15. Premier League Record
    Appearances 24
    Goals 0
    Assists 2
    Goals 0
    Goals per match 0.00
    Headed goals 0
    Goals with right foot 0
    Goals with left foot 0
    Penalties scored 0
    Freekicks scored 0
    Shots 13
    Shots on target 3
    Shooting accuracy % 23%
    Hit woodwork 0
    Big chances missed 0
    Team Play
    Assists 2
    Passes 1,251
    Passes per match 52.13
    Big chances created 1
    Crosses 70
    Cross accuracy % 13%
    Through balls 6
    Accurate long balls 76
    Yellow cards 1
    Red cards 0
    Fouls 19
    Offsides 0
    Tackles 45
    Tackle success % 51%
    Blocked shots 5
    Interceptions 32
    Clearances 11
    Headed Clearance 6
    Recoveries 153
    Duels won 116
    Duels lost 125
    Successful 50/50s 27
    Aerial battles won 9
    Aerial battles lost 25
    Errors leading to goal 0………….. we deserve better

  16. There is no doubt that we are lacking creativity and guile in our midfield, but I don’t think Dani is the man to properly address our obvious deficiencies…although he clearly showed some improvements over the final months of the season, his inability to properly provide the necessary link-up play on a consistent basis suggests that he doesn’t fit the bill…he has a tendency to dwell on the ball too often, lacks the necessary grit and doesn’t possess the vertical passing vision that this team desperately requires, in light of our over-reliance on sideways constructed build-up play…he to me is more of a luxury buy, at this time, who could provide us with a potentially viable bench option, but isn’t good enough to be the MAN in the middle of the pitch…as such, he isn’t worth the investment at this juncture…right now we need someone who provides more answers than questions

  17. He is not an attacking midfielder and his stats on goals and assists in both La Liga and the EPL will confirm this. Jack Grealish is what I would call a proper attacking midfielder but we have no chance of signing him or perhaps splash a bit of cash and get Coutinho on loan for a year? If only!!!

    Monéy is obviously short so why not try ESR in that position? I would love to see another Academy lad make it.

    1. No I don’t think we should depend on academy players for now. We don’t have that flexibility. There are cheap, quality attacking midfielders if we take a deep look at the Iberian peninsula. We are in a precarious situation. Failure to get champions league football would be catastrophic especially for our finances. And how can you compete with the elites without finance. Enough of this academy crusade. Let’s face it, The quality of our academy have dropped significantly. World class prospect don’t need donkey years to show their worth or prove themselves on the big stage. Apart from Saka and maybe ESR (and I’m including him because he hasn’t had enough opportunity), I don’t think any other academy player is even good enough to cut it with the first team at arsenal to say the least

      1. Maxi, I didn’t say we should depend on ESR but merely to give the lad an opportunity as he has done well on loan, Mason Mount of Chelsea is one example. Otherwise what is the point of running an Academy? These cheap, quality Iberian attacking midfielders you speak of, who is going to find them, we’ve sacked all of our scouts? The board should give MA at least 2 years to build HIS team because I just cannot see us making the top 4 this season. I’m being realistic when you see the huge investments being made by the current top 4 teams whilst we are looking around for frees and loanees and one possible signing i.e. Gabriel. I just cannot see Kroenke opening his wallet so we have to be patient and trust in MA to come good.

        1. That’s the problem Andrew ,these days most people don’t have the patience and want instant investments, results.. managers and players even young ones are not given the time they need.

        2. Arsenal has the money; check the cash reserves and the fact that KS&E have bought the Emirates debt.
          The financial and player assets of this Club are being mismanaged.
          How much good money after bad do you expect KS&E to throw at Arsenal?

  18. Okay, if Arsenal sincerely believe thatAmaduo Diawara have a better stats than Thomas Partey has in terms of central defensive enforcement capability & capacity, age and cost price to sign. Then what are Arsenal waiting for other than to go ahead and sign Diawara this summer?

    1. Arsenal need both box to box CAM and DM. Partey and Diawara would be ideal, to provide the foundation to play with Xhaka or any other midfielder Arsenal has on its books, AMN, Willock or even Ozil.
      If Ozil is as good as many believe, he should thrive with the midfield support of Partey and Diawara. There should be no more excuses, if he is given the chance and fails to create.

  19. I agree, since we obviously don’t have much money spending 45M plus wages of around 200 000/week on Partey doesn’t make any sense financially,when we can buy both Ceballos who is still 23 years old and a decent younger DM for around 50M and lesser wages.

    1. Doucoure is available from relegated Watford at the moment, if Arsenal moves quick with Everton hovering.

  20. Xhaka Elneny torreira guendhouzi AMN willock is what we have at moment … it’s frankly top championship level quality at best … 3 should be sold ASAP and 2 brought in … the difference to man utd from buying fernandes was immediate … we need that kind of player plus a DM … otherwise come March we will be biting our nails about keeping a Europa league spot

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