Mikel Arteta’s team news raised a few eyebrows before the game against Newcastle United. Eddie Nketiah replacing Alex Lacazette was surprising but Lucas Torreira being benched for Dani Ceballos was a big call.
Torreira and Xhaka had established a formidable partnership under Arteta and were expected to start together again. However, the Arsenal boss was well aware of Newcastle’s low block and preferred creativity over extra steel in front of our defence.
That decision proved to be the right one as Ceballos showed the Emirates exactly what he is capable of. The Real Madrid loanee took some time to find his rhythm in the first half but he flicked the switch in the second half which won Arsenal the game.
Ceballos had 108 touches of the ball, played 87 accurate passes and maintained a stellar 95% passing accuracy. He also completed seven out of his eight attempted long balls and made three key passes. (Sofascore)
His performance brought back memories of Santi Cazorla being the link between the defence and Mesut Ozil. The German was at ease throughout the game – All thanks to Ceballos feeding the ball into his path.
The Spaniard will get more opportunities to shine in the coming days. Ceballos is still only 23 and he would become an immense asset for us if we manage to sign him permanently in the summer.
Arsenal fans took to Twitter to hail Ceballos’ performance and it is safe to say that they all enjoyed watching him. Here are a few reactions:
Epic performance. You rock Dani
— Eddie Longbridge (@EddieLongbridge) February 16, 2020
Class display Dani, great haircut too!
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) February 16, 2020
Loved that performance Dani, keep it up amigo.
— Pádraig (@afcpadraig) February 16, 2020
Class Dani! He drinks estrella, he eats paella ❤️
— 𝙅𝙖𝙘𝙠 🔴⚪️ (@AllezAfcJacques) February 16, 2020
Well done Dani! You was brilliant today!!! What a player and what a performance! GOT US TICKING TODAY PAL👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌🔴⚪🔴⚪🔴⚪🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #COYG
— Jimmy Chilides (@jimmy_chilides) February 16, 2020
My man of the match today. Quality
— MikeAFC (@MikeAFC4) February 16, 2020
Can you be our new @19SCazorla ? please Dani !
— Chos136 🇭🇷 (@Chos1361) February 16, 2020