Dani Ceballos might not return to Arsenal next season. In that eventuality, he must be replaced. Here are three candidates to do so.
With Dani Ceballos’ future up in the air at the moment and the likelihood that he won’t be at the Emirates next season, Arsenal need to start looking at alternatives at what is a key position in the team. There have been a few names mentioned over the last few weeks, but whether they are obtainable are not remains to be seen. What the midfield desperately craves is creativity and control, a forward-thinking midfielder who has the ability to run at defenders and create chances, while also providing a shield for the defence. Ceballos has filled this role recently, but upon his departure, Mikel Arteta must find someone new.
Here are three options who could fill the void left by Ceballos.
3. Joe Willock
Joe Willock isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I will admit that he hasn’t exactly set the Premier League alight in the manner that Buyaka Saka has, but there are encouraging signs and there is a very talented footballer in there somewhere. Arsenal simply need to take more of a risk and give him more of a chance when required.
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That he has not been given an extended run in the team is the reason why we haven’t seen any real consistency. Willock needs a run of games to bed into a specific role in the midfield. Any chance of him stepping up to the Ceballos role will ultimately rely on how much Arsenal’s transfer budget is. There are other positions that need improvement also and if Willock could fill in for Ceballos, resources would then be available to spend at other positions.
Willock likes to make forward runs and he gets up and down the pitch excellently. On occasion, he has really impressed when he has started. He also has an eye for goal, which is invaluable for a central midfielder. Willock is very much a work in progress and a long shot to replace Ceballos, but he shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.