How adding a defensive edge to his game could make Dani Ceballos Arsenal’s best midfielder

Dani Ceballos looked a reborn player when Arsenal faced West Ham United over the weekend.

The Spaniard, who joined the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid in the summer, has struggled to get chances under Mikel Arteta following his return from a long term injury.

Arteta never fancied him because of his poor off the ball work and he may have told him that he needed to do better in that aspect to get into the team.

I think Ceballos has taken that as a challenge and his game against the Hammers showed that he is a better defensive player now.

Ceballos was involved in that game as I have never seen him before, he constantly demanded the ball, but what impressed me the most was how he worked hard off the ball.

He may not have the physicality that most Premier League players have, however, he makes up for it with his reading of the game and how he harries opposition players.

If he can keep that up in his next couple of games, then he can lay claim to the title of the best midfielder at Arsenal.

I think that Ceballos should be given the opportunity to face tougher opponents and I hope that he is selected to play against Manchester City. If he does play and shines again then he would have justified why he is so highly-rated in Madrid.

An article by Ime


  1. Did I miss something? I thought he as decent against West Ham, but some have been making out it was a world class performance on the day, worthy of much discussion. He wasn’t even MOTM in that game either, with Leno winning it, saving our bacon yet again!

    I love the fact Ceballos is forward thinking player, he works very hard, and is combative, but does often give the ball away a lot, which he did against West Ham. He has potential, but I haven’t seen anything from him that has blown my mind, like what we saw when Cesc came through, or what we’re are seeing from Saka at the moment.

  2. team got quarantined

    the league should be suspended till its safe to play

    lifes are at stake

    1. Something doesn’t add up. Olympiakos was nearly two weeks ago, and the owner only contracted it yesterday. Or at least said he did. If he did pass the germs to our squad then several would have been ruled out of Portsmouth and West ham. But that didn’t happen.

      1. I’m guessing none of our players are showing symptoms (which take 5 days to appear?) otherwise they’d have been tested surely?
        As you say, what about the Portsmouth/West Ham players?

        1. Exactly.
          After 2 weeks someone would have shown symptoms by now. Bizarre decision.
          Especially since Olympiakos themselves are playing.

  3. Man City vs. Arsenal game is called off due to covid 19. What a pity, but lives are at risk. Many things more important than football. Anyway, Ceballos is a good midfielder and if he improves even further, than Arsenal should make his signing permanent.

  4. Quality player – I would fully support getting permanent signing done.

    Let’s take The WHU game.

    When you’re actually there, you see the bigger picture.

    The amount of cajoling, organising, encouraging, responsibility taking and out of possession running this guy does is the “non-negotiable standard – let alone his work on the ball.

    Never “strolling” around the park, but moving with intent and purpose at all times.

    In the above mentioned game, Dani completely and utterly worked his proverbial *rse off – easily outfield player MoM.

    May have had issues under the U E reign (not alone one suspects), but has responded to
    M A’s demands excellently.

    If one player is going to bring the best out in Pepe, it could just be Dani.

    Why ? We need the ball played in behind, and IN FRONT of Pepe (as oppossed to Pepe dropping too deep to collect).

    Dani is one of the few we currently have who gets his head up and drives us FORWARD, he will look for that in behind /defence splitting pass.

    Stood out a mile in the last Euro U 21’s tournament, in which his was instrumental in Spain wining the title.

    Wanted to snap him up then , along with Gheorghe Hagi’s boy (Romania).

    Hagi’s lad has since gone to Glasgow Rangers.

    We landed Dani (albeit on loan), let’s keep him.

    And guess what …. he’s “only” 23 !

  5. MA said only last week that he’s been very impressed with Ceballos (commitment, training..) and that the reason he had to wait to play was that after his injury he was not at the fitness level required,I don’t know where you got he didn’t fancy him,also from his first game with us Ceballos has always worked hard off the ball he just needed time to adapt to the PL and like many foreign players before him Ceballos just need to bulk up a bit!

  6. In practical terms how much will Real Madrid want for him if indeed they are prepared to sell?

    1. About 60M I think,at today’s rates not bad cos he is 23 years old , technical good passing range and , vision,works hard off the ball,he needs to bulk up a bit too and a good resale value,win win situation for both parties’?

  7. At times, he holds the ball too much unnecessarily and doesn’t release the ball for players runs. If he can work on these two things, asides from the fact that he doesn’t shoot and is not ambidextrous, there won’t be much difference between him and Cazorla

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