Before we start, I’m still wondering when Dani Ceballos is going to show us his full repertoire and own the role that was once the domain of the likes of Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas, and Santi Cazorla. Ceballos is in his second spell at Arsenal but to date, he hasn’t lived up to expectation.
Some nice touches, some good contributions here and there, but nothing to take your breath away or to indicate that there is a future global superstar in the making. My own opinion is that Ceballos is not what Arsenal need in terms of a creative midfielder who can dominate a game and contribute to the defence.
I noticed that for all his decent work during the testing Leeds vs Arsenal clash, Ceballos twice put the ball out of play whilst under absolutely no pressure with a pass that was worthy of a Sunday league game. I’d quite happily let him go at the end of the season and it’s no longer a surprise why he couldn’t make the Real Madrid side.
Elneny and Xhaka are variations on a theme and neither is good enough, even though both have improved dramatically since Arteta arrived. That leaves Willock, Maitland-Niles, and Smith Rowe, all of whom are still firmly in the prospects category for another season or so.
In terms of all the midfield transfer targets currently linked to Arsenal football club including Isco, Aouar, Eriksen, or Szoboszlai, Aouar would be my first choice without a doubt. However, the likelihood of agreeing to terms on the player is very low due to the fee involved, so let’s park that notion immediately.
Out of the others on the list, Isco, Brahimi, and Szoboszlai would be welcome, all are exceptionally talented and technically gifted players. Age-wise, with Arteta building a young side, Szoboszlai would seem the better option but only for that reason.
Sander Berge is a player that presents value for money and he is, on his day, very accomplished but he’s not in the same class as the others on this list. That leaves Christian Eriksen, another highly-priced player that has enjoyed an expensive cameo role for a top Italian club and who presently spends most of his working life on a bench.
A bit unfair but he played for Spuds, who cares! Is he the flair player Arsenal need? No, he’s not. A good player, yes and he was exceptional for the Spurs but in this current Arsenal side? I think we can do better. We need someone who can create and support the wealth of attacking talent at our disposal, but there’s also a need for someone that can lift fans out of their seats with a mesmerising piece of skill.
Someone who can score but provide service through the middle or on the flanks. A player who is as tenacious in defence as he is during an attack, with a desire to drag the team forward and kick start a game when the going gets tough and looking at Ceballos currently, he certainly isn’t the answer to the problems at Arsenal.
Let’s hope Arteta feels the same because some managers tend to go for a player that reflects their own attributes. Arteta was a solid player and his contribution was always first class, but he won’t make anyone’s shortlist of Arsenal’s greatest midfielders. Of course, we’ll see other names within the next three weeks, especially with Arsenal’s current brand of unadventurous and ordinary football.
What has made the matter worse is the ‘Ozil business’ which continues to surface like an oxygen-starved dolphin when more than two Arsenal fans start a debate. Let’s deal with that again, yes, he’s a baller but when did he last put on a show and give value for money? No, I can’t remember either, probably even Ozil doesn’t know the answer to that.
The acquisition of Thomas Partey was a masterstroke but he will need a Ying to his Yang and Arsenal will need cover for both players for inevitable injuries. Whom would you like to see in Arsenal’s midfield?
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