Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted at the possible permanent signing of on-loan midfielder Dani Ceballos, suggesting negotiations with Real Madrid could already be ongoing.
Ceballos had a difficult start to his season-long loan from Los Blancos, suffering a muscle injury that ruled him out in November and didn’t see him start another game until February. But more recently under Arteta, the Spaniard has begun to thrive.
He was impressive again in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Leicester on Tuesday night, earning personal praise from his manager after the game.
“He was superb again,” the Gunners boss said in his video press conference, via Arsenal.com.
“I think him and Granit have created a really good understanding. They give us a lot of balance and a lot of stability with the ball to make the right decision in moments of transition and they are evolving a lot together. Defensively, Dani has made a big step forward with the way he is pressing, the amount of interceptions that he is putting in and he is enjoying it.
“I am really happy with him,” Arteta added when pressed on the subject of a permanent deal.
“I think it is something that the club has to go a little bit further with Real Madrid on. At the moment he is playing very well, I am really happy with him and he is a big talent and still has a lot of things to improve.”
Fresh from committing his long-term future to Arsenal last week with a new contract, teenage starlet Bukayo Saka was also impressive against the Foxes.
Having filled in as a makeshift left-back from December to March, the 18-year-old has operated in more natural attacking positions since the season restarted. He scored against Wolves at the weekend and provided the assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Leicester.
“He’s very precise in the final third and the closer he gets to the box actually, the picture is clearer for him, but he will score a lot of goals because he has really good quality in terms of finishing with both feet,” Arteta said of Saka’s contribution.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!