X

Arsenal's Joe Willock on Dani Ceballos: 'Every Day He's Getting Better'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Dani Ceballos of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Burnley FC at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has hailed new arrival Dani Ceballos as a "top player" who's only set to improve at the Emirates Stadium. 

Ceballos joined the club on loan from Real Madrid this summer and impressed on his full debut against Burnley on Saturday.

Per Goal's Charles Watts, Willock said:

"Dani's a top player. We see it every day in training, he's just brilliant. He's very technical.

"He showed on Saturday how good he is going to be and what he will bring to the team. It was a good performance from him. He was top class.

"And every day he's getting fitter, every day he's getting better."

The Spaniard assisted both of Arsenal's goals as they beat the Clarets 2-1.

Football statistician Dave O'Brien shared the numbers behind his superb outing:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Dani Ceballos’s game by numbers vs. Burnley: 90% pass accuracy 25 final third passes 4/4 take-ons 3 key passes 3 fouls won 2 assists Dream debut. 🇪🇸 https://t.co/N9YyDLCP87

Ceballos was involved all over the pitch and stood out thanks to his dynamism and energy in midfield.

He's a hard worker who looks to drive the team forward with his impressive dribbling skill and intelligent use of the ball, and as he showed in setting up Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he's a creative force in the final third too.

Football.London's James Benge is already hoping the Gunners make his stay in north London permanent:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Will happily fork out £100 cash to keep Dani Ceballos beyond this season. One of those performances where you're looking around at the people sat near you, struggling to believe what you've just seen.

Despite his obvious talent, the 23-year-old struggled to hold down a place at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he moved from Real Betis in 2017.

He made just 22 appearances in his first season in Madrid under Zinedine Zidane. He started nine times, five of which came in the Copa del Rey.

Things picked up a little last season under Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, as he made 34 appearances, but he often found himself benched in their most important games. After Zidane returned in March, he played just three times in 11 matches.

It's early days at Arsenal, but it seems he will be a key player for the duration of his time there.

The Gunners play Liverpool on Saturday, and the Guardian's Sachin Nakrani is concerned at the danger Ceballos could pose to the Reds:

Sachin Nakrani @SachinNakrani

So Liverpool and Arsenal go into Saturday’s game at Anfield as the outright top two. I’m suddenly getting dreaded thoughts of Dani Ceballos charging through the midfield ...

Liverpool have been a little vulnerable at the back this season, having conceded goals in both of their Premier League games—against Norwich City and Southampton—and twice in the UEFA Super Cup to Chelsea.

Arsenal haven't won at Anfield since 2012, though, and they have shipped 23 goals in their past seven meetings with the Reds.

If the Gunners are to come away with a positive result on Saturday, they will need another top-class performance from Ceballos.