There was no mistaking the Santi Cazorla/Dani Ceballos connection when Arsenal brought in the latter, and there’s still time to make the magic happen.
There was a time not so long ago when I said that Dani Ceballos was Arsenal‘s best addition of the summer. Even more than Nicolas Pepe. Given the need we had for someone just like him and the undeniable parallels to Santi Cazorla, it couldn’t fail.
The only thing we had to worry about was how to make the loan a permanent deal. Before he even took the pitch we were all so worried about him leaving at the end of the year. And yeah, I shot out of the gates and, after Burnley, announced that he was already better than Mesut Ozil.
Ceballos has disappeared since then. Between injuries and lacking opportunities under Mikel Arteta, Ceballos is all but forgotten. Arteta keeps rolling with Mesut Ozil and doesn’t allow for a formation that accommodates Ceballos in addition to Ozil.
In response, Ceballos has come out an said that he still wants to repay the faith the club showed in him. Don’t forget, for as much as Arsenal needed Ceballos, Ceballos needed Arsenal too. He was buried at Real Madrid and needed to reassert himself on the world stage.
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This was a partnership that needed to happen, but it’s a partnership that hasn’t been allowed to happen. There were even rumors that Ceballos was going to cut his loan short in January.
Honestly, no one would have batted an eye. He was a non-factor.
I really like that Ceballos has stepped out to speak about his situation here at Arsenal. If he isn’t getting time to prove it on the pitch, the next best thing is to tell the fans that he is still dedicated to the cause and not ready to mail it in yet.
To me, that shows that he cares. About the fans, the club, the culture. And to me, that means that he needs to get back onto the pitch to back those words up. It’s long overdue to see if he can be the player we need him to be. If we don’t find out by the end of the season, then what was the point of all this anyway?
Unless the conspiracy theory of driving his price down to get him for cheaper is still in play. In which case, ignore everything I’ve just said. Including this sentence.