As we near the end of the 2019/20 season, and with time to reflect, I thought it would be good to look at the signings Arsenal made. So, here are grades for the Gunners’ 2019 summer signings.
Arsenal are almost a year removed from their summer transfer window, which was their highest-spending window in their history. They broke their club record, signed two defenders for north of £20 million, shocked the world with a trailblazing Brazilian, and also made a couple of more astute acquisitions on loan and cheap deals. But after a year of action, how do these signings grade out?
Well, let’s have a look.
Dani Ceballos – B
Based on pure ingenuity, Arsenal’s year-long loan acquisition of Dani Ceballos would be rated as a top-notch signing. The Spaniard arrived as a cheap and available replacement for Aaron Ramsey, who was allowed to walk out the door for nothing at the expiration of his contract.
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On that basis, the Ceballos move has been extremely positive. He is an excellent passer, has established himself as the starter in Mikel Arteta’s central midfield, showed signs of emulating that Santi Cazorla-esque, twisting, turning press-resistant deep-lying distributor that the team has been crying out for. However, Ceballos has not been the perfect signing.
He missed a large portion of the season through injury, was an inconsistent presence under Unai Emery, struggling to deal with the added tempo and physicality of the Premier League, and is only a loan signing. Ceballos was a clever solution to a tricky problem, but it is difficult to grade the transfer much higher than a B because he is just a stop-gap.