Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spoke to the media ahead of this weekend’s game against West Ham United. (Arsenal.com)
The boss had a lot to talk about today but three things were of the utmost importance. Dani Ceballos and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future plus the prospect of Pablo Mari starting his first Premier League game this weekend.
Here’s what we think:
“We haven’t had any discussions about it,” said Arteta about the midfielder. Ceballos has been brilliant in all the games that he has started under the new Arsenal boss and surely Arsenal would like to keep him.
With Lucas Torreira possibly out for a while with a fractured ankle, Ceballos is likely to start every game. If the Spaniard can continue his good form, a permanent deal for him becomes a no brainer.
How many times have we been in this situation before? Robin van Persie, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez have all left us, albeit for different reasons, but Auba is one we cannot afford to lose.
“I want to keep him under any circumstances,” said Arteta. Without the former Dortmund man, we would’ve been in the bottom half of the league table.
Qualifying for the Champions League will certainly help convince him but even without that, we need to find a way.
The Spaniard looked good against Portsmouth, didn’t he? Calm and composed on the ball, good with his duels and his positioning was much better than what we’ve seen from an Arsenal defender in recent times.
“He’s ready to play if we need him,” said Arteta and there is no reason not to start him. It will be a bit harsh on Shkodran Mustafi considering how brilliant he has been for us recently.
However, with Mari and Luiz at the back, long balls will become a common theme and the likes of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe could thrive against teams that maintain a high defensive line.