Dani Ceballos may not have been one of the Arsenal players to steal the headlines during their 3-2 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.
Unai Emery’s men won 3-2 at the Emirates. But their victory only came about after Calum Chambers and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in the final 10 minutes.
By that stage of the game, Ceballos had been taken off by Emery. The Spaniard was involved in the double change that also saw Granit Xhaka come off, with the pair being replaced by Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock.
It would be incredibly harsh to criticise Ceballos’s performance too strongly. It may not have been his finest display for the Gunners, but he was arguably one of the Arsenal players who can be fairly happy with his efforts.
And one statistic in particular, highlights that Ceballos’s performance was actually a lot better than he has perhaps got credit for.
According to Whoscored, the 23-year-old attempted 43 passes during his 72 minutes on the pitch. And remarkably, he found a teammate on every occasion. Just three players from either side – Matteo Guendouzi, Xhaka and David Luiz – completed more.
Given Ceballos’s position on the pitch, it is outstanding to be so prolific when it came to keeping possession.
And perhaps, it highlights why it may be unfair to overlook the Real Madrid loanee when it comes to looking at why Arsenal still had an outside chance of winning when he left the pitch on Sunday.