Dani Ceballos made his home debut for Arsenal in the 2-1 victory over Burnley on Saturday and Tony Cascarino was suitably impressed.
The Spanish 23-year-old ran the show from central midfield and Cascarino used his column in the Times to praise the player he saw as something of a throwback.
He said: “Dani Ceballos impressed me. He has a bit of everything: tenacity, technical ability, and he wore the shirt as if he was an Arsenal player from 15 years ago. It felt like he really wanted to show his hunger to play and Arsenal have missed that enormously in midfield recently.
“He showed what he is about. He is on loan so Arsenal will have to hope he doesn’t do too well, meaning they can’t sign him.”
TBR’s View – Ceballos can take Arsenal’s midfield to another level
There has been plenty of talk about Arsenal’s shaky backline and mouth-watering attacking options, but their central midfield has been below the level required.
Granit Xhaka’s inconsistency is familiar by now, Lucas Torreira tailed off last season, Matteo Guendouzi is still young and Mesut Ozil’s issues are known.
Aaron Ramsey’s depature was keenly felt, but Ceballos may be a better fit for Unai Emery because he is more comfortable and disciplined in a slightly deeper midfield role.
Ceballos impressed at the Under 21 European Championship during the summer and has taken that form to the Emirates Stadium.
The next test is to add that quality in the tougher away examinations, but standing up to Burnley’s muscular style is a very good start – he can elevate Arsenal’s midfield to another level.