Arsenal manager Unai Emery has hailed the ambitious nature of Dani Ceballos and believes the Gunners need more players of a similar calibre. The Spain international joined the Gunners on a season-long loan from Real Madrid last month and he is expected to make his debut during the upcoming league opener at Newcastle United.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Emery said that Ceballos has a very strong mentality and he is pleased that the midfielder has swiftly returned to training following a knock picked up during the friendly game against Barcelona, he said: “Ceballos’ mind is very strong. His mentality. Last Sunday, when he received a big kick on his ankle I thought ‘oh, it’s broken’. But after, on Monday, he was training – (he said). I’m fine and want to train’. He is showing us every day his ambition, his hunger is big. I think we need players like this.”
Ceballos had less than 60 minutes of pre-season action after joining the club during the end of July but he could be handed with a start against the Magpies this weekend. Mesut Ozil is currently unavailable due to a police investigation over the recent car-jacking incident and that could pave the way for Ceballos to feature in the number 10 role.
The 23-year-old has barely featured in the position at Real Madrid but he did find success with the Spanish side at the Under-21 European Championships where he was the player of the tournament with two goals and two assists from five appearances. Arsenal have had the history of making slow starts to the Premier League season and the game at St James Park should provide a test of their credentials.
On paper, the north London giants are overwhelming favourites to get the better of the Magpies but their away record over the past two seasons suggests that they can’t take any game lightly. Apart from Ceballos, David Luiz, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli could be handed with debuts for the club against Steve Bruce’s men.