You don’t get many gimmes in football these days. So when an opportunity such as this comes along for Arsenal, they’d be fools not to take it.
In case you haven’t heard, Arsenal are operating with a fairly shoestring budget this summer, and with defenders looking to be high on the priority list, a potential freebie in the soon-to-be vacant midfield role from Aaron Ramsey’s Juventus switch could turn out to be a godsend for Unai Emery’s restricted transfer plans.
Midfielder Dani Ceballos is said to be available from Real Madrid this summer, and although recent reports have linked The Gunners with a move for the 22-year-old, the Spanish giants’ apparent reluctance to sanction a permanent deal for the player leaves the Spaniard available on a loan – which may yet suit Arsenal further given their current financial woes.
What have Arsenal got to lose? If the youngster’s Under-21 Euros performances are anything to go by, acquiring his services – even if only for a year – would go a long way to stretching the resources at Emery’s disposal this summer.
If there’s the off-chance that Ceballos turns out to be an absolute dream and falls in love with North London, Emery should be making plans to bring the player to N5 now – especially with Spurs and AC Milan potentially circling for his (temporary) signature.
One would assume that Ceballos would come in as an attacking midfielder similar to that of the departing Ramsey – although his close control and quick passing do leave you reminiscent of a certain Santi Cazorla. Either way, if there’s such thing as a blend of those two players, only having to fork out for wages would be daylight robbery from Arsenal.
What’s more, they wouldn’t have to worry about Milan’s purported approach for Lucas Torreira – which Italian press had suggested a permanent Ceballos move could be the eventual end-product of should The Gunners part ways with their Uruguayan midfielder.
And with any concerns over the midfield gone with an effectively free transfer, focus can then shift fully onto the defence without any of The Gunners’ measly transfer budget being compromised as a result.
Suddenly, boosting their bid for Kieran Tierney seems a less daunting prospect – and getting two players in for the price of £25m really would represent good business for Arsenal – especially with Ceballos being rated at £27m himself.
So Emery should be jumping at the chance to sign such a prospect for such a price, as it could redefine Arsenal’s transfer window and the level of success they look for it to achieve.