Another day, another signing confirmed, with Dani Ceballos back at the club on loan for the season and with the way he finished last season you’d be hard to find an Arsenal fan who isn’t happy about this arrival.
He was instrumental in the FA Cup win by scoring against Sheffield United and playing blinders in the semi and final and given that he’s already had a season of adaptation, this loan move makes a whole world of sense, because as soon as he’s done his 14 days of isolation he’ll be ready and able to play for us after the Fulham game next weekend.
It’s a slam dunk of a move and you can see just how much Arteta valued him from January onwards. He was rumoured to want to go back to Madrid, he decided to stay and fight, Arteta recognised this and the player was rewarded for his efforts with regular game time. He’ll bring a composure on the ball that we need and he’ll be a guy who will always show for the ball and give us options. You can see why Arteta likes him and you can see how much he wanted him back in his words that the ‘Mister’ said on the official site.
There’s still more work to do though and I suspect that’ll be some outgoings now. I know the Ceballos deal was a relatively easy and cost effective move, but the club needs to start working on some of those exits and I suspect that means that next week we’ll see some out the door. I’d prefer it to be Sokratis, Guendouzi, probably Özil if he’s not going to play, but I suspect it might be Torreira too, which I wouldn’t be enthralled about and I’ve already said my piece about how terrible I think the loan deal with a low price at the end is, so I won’t labour the point any more.
But we do need to get a wriggle on for some of our players and the club will be acutely aware how cash needs to be incoming. We’ve done a couple of good deals in Ceballos and Gabriel, Saliba is in too and that’s great news, but it’s time the squad started taking shape. They’ve already had one behind closed doors game against QPR and I’m sure I read somewhere that another game with Aston Villa is on the cards, so it feels like we’re starting to take shape and I suspect some of those players like Willian, Lacazette and Pepe will have all played before heading off with their national teams.
The other big footballing news is with Messi suddenly deciding to stay at the club this season and the reason I bring that up is more to do with a bit of a conspiracy theory on Aubameyang. If Messi had left the club this summer, with Suarez off to Juve, Barcelona will have been forced to make a marquee signing that would guarantee goals. That would have surely have led them in our direction and with our Gabonese talisman. I wonder – and this is purely my own speculation here – whether the reason the Aubameyang contract being unsigned as yet was because he was waiting to see how the Messi situation played out. Now that he has said he is staying will we see our main man put pen to paper?
It’s still not guaranteed though. Messi’s contract expires at the end of this upcoming season and he’ll be able to leave on a free. If Barcelona approach Aubameyang’s people and say “we’ll have you next summer for nothing when Messi goes” then Auba could just hold out and head there when his contract expires.
Perhaps this is all nonsense though and perhaps the details have all be agreed for him to stay at the club. The noises from all sides appear to be positive and most of us have been under the belief that it is basically ‘done’ bar the official announcements. The only question mark appears to be why we still now have no official announcement and as every day goes by I think more and more of us will start to be thinking “hang on, somethings not right here…” I reckon. Hopefully we can get some official news soon and put all of the waiting and nerves to one side.
That’s pretty much it from me so I’ll say my farewell to you for another day and catch you on the flip side.