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Wanting to stay and actually staying are two different things

Arsenal is in a decent enough place that players should want to stay with the club, but wanting to stay and actually staying don’t always equate.

While many fans are starting to settle into trusting Mikel Arteta through the inconsistent results, the big, lingering questions that will continue to riddle Arsenal throughout the course of the summer are still being asked and the answers just aren’t clear.

The two biggest questions pertain to two of our best performers right now—Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Dani Ceballos.

As of a couple of weeks ago, both were expected to leave the club. Aubameyang would be sold for a good enough profit to bring in additional help and Dani Ceballos would end his loan and go back to Real Madrid, where he wants to be anyway.

That narrative is changing in a really inconclusive way. Recent reports and statements from players and club alike indicate that both of these guys want to stay. Aubameyang has made that perfectly clear and it’s believable too—he enjoys his time here.

Ceballos has made similar statements all year, talking about how it would make sense for his career to stay at Arsenal, but his recent statement was even more conclusive, crediting Mikel Arteta and the system he’s putting in place.

Both of these players wanting to stay is a huge testament to Arteta’s efforts to turn the club around, and it’s also a massive boost to fans who don’t want to see them leave. After all, the first step to getting them to stay is them wanting to stay in the first place.

Which is where we are with both of these players, though getting any farther than where we currently are is the actual hard part. After all, it doesn’t take all that much for a player to want to be at Arsenal. We’re a massive club.

For Aubameyang, we know the drill—he wants three years, the club wants to give him two. That’s a hard mountain to cross. And for Ceballos, the price tag (depending on which price tag you believe) is either too good to be true and therefore probably isn’t, or as much as Thomas Partey. The only other option is a second loan.

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I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I know that it’s important for these guys to want to stay in the first place, but overcoming obstacles to actually get them to stay is what matters.

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