Arsenal have been searching for more creativity and unpredictability this summer.
Beyond Mesut Ozil when he is in the mood, Unai Emery’s options are a bit thin on the ground.
Dani Ceballos has courted his fair share of controversy, with some previous high-profile spats
Unai Emery will be delighted to get the loan signing over the line ahead of the new season
Now, enter Dani Ceballos, who will join on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, to add some much-needed qualities to Emery’s Arsenal squad.
Spain international Ceballos, 22, will fill the midfield void left by Aaron Ramsey but in a different way.
While Ramsey is a box-to-box midfielder with an eye for goal Ceballos is known for his composure, passing, technical qualities and also his shooting ability from distance.
Ceballos, who joined Madrid from his first club Betis in 2017, has long been considered a hugely-gifted offensive talent in Spain, even if he needs to add consistency and brush up the defensive side of his game.
Ceballos (right) is a hugely talented attacking player and could be Arsenal’s missing link
He does not get on well with Zinedine Zidane (pictured) but Real are still unwilling to sell him
His performances in the last two under-21 Euros – player of the tournament in 2017 and in the team of the tournament for a second championships running after helping Spain win it this summer – underline his big billing.
He has also has an edge to his character and has courted his fair share of controversy in his younger days with outspoken comments.
Ceballos has been involved in spats with Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao fans, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique and once even mocked the size of Iker Casillas’s private parts on Twitter.
He appeared to have talked himself into trouble once more with a rant about Zinedine Zidane and their poor relationship following his Madrid departure in 2018 … only to see the Frenchman return to the Bernabeu as boss just 10 months later.
Ceballos sees his future in Spain but will have a big chance to announce himself at Arsenal
Ceballos’ performances for Spain in the last two under-21 Euros underline his big billing
At the end of last season Zidane then told Ceballos he was not in his plans for 2019-20. Ceballos responded by saying he didn’t want to play for Zidane anyway.
But when you have talent like Ceballos, most situations are salvageable.
His starring role in Spain’s under-21 success reminded Bernabeu chiefs that Ceballos is a talent they cannot simply discard, he has a long-term future at Madrid and the best solution was a loan.
It works for Arsenal too. They have secured the services of a significant talent without putting too much of a dent in their £45m transfer budget.
Real Madrid were asking for a loan fee of around £3m.
In a Twitter spat, Ceballos previously mocked the size of former keeper Iker Casillas’ manhood
The Spaniard could be the man to fill the midfield void left by Aaron Ramsey, now at Juventus
The lack of option to buy might raise eyebrows and was one of the sticking points for rivals Tottenham who also cannot offer Ceballos the guarantees of regular football he will get at Arsenal.
Emery’s only interest is that Ceballos will improve his team in the coming campaign. If he impresses, Arsenal hope to address the idea of a permanent move next summer.
For now, Ceballos will get the support of a manager who has followed him since his Betis days and that he has been craving along with the platform to shine at the Emirates. He has been tipped as a player capable of being the brains and shining for a top team for some time.
Just as importantly, Arsenal will be getting exactly what they need too.