Arsenal: Arteta details plan to return to top four
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Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos has provided his honest opinion on manager Mikel Arteta ahead of his return to parent club Real Madrid this summer. The Spaniard is set to leave the Emirates Stadium this month, ending two years on loan after a disappointing campaign.
Ceballos made 49 Premier League appearances over his two seasons at Arsenal, providing five assists.
He earned himself a further year in England with an impressive first season on loan, playing a significant role as Arteta guided the club to their record-extending 14th FA Cup.
However, like much of Arteta’s squad, Ceballos was disappointing in the 2020/21 campaign as Arsenal failed to qualify for European football for the first time in 25 years.
The Gunners have made Ceballos’ Real team-mate Martin Odegaard their transfer priority this summer, ending his chances of a permanent move.
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Arsenal finished eighth last season after Arteta replaced Unai Emery mid-way through, but he couldn’t progress his side this term.
A second successive eighth-place finish, topped with a dismal semi-final Europa League exit, has left many fans in disarray.
However, Ceballos has left a parting statement of praise for the Arsenal manager.
The 24-year-old midfielder has tipped his fellow Spaniard to become one of the world’s best coaches in the coming years.
“Arteta is a coach who I am sure will be one of the best in the world in the next few years, but I would like to return to the Spanish league,” he told El Larguero.
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Arsenal are reportedly looking to replace Ceballos in the summer window, whilst former club captain Granit Xhaka is also on his way out.
According to reports, Xhaka is set to link up with former Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho, a manager he publicly admires, at AS Roma.
In response, the Gunners have been linked with moves for Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma and Wolves’ Ruben Neves.
Added to Thomas Partey, Arteta could have some enticing midfield options to pick from next season.
With no European football to cause a distraction in 2021/22, Arteta must guide Arsenal to a successful league campaign.
With the north London club far off challenging for the title, a top-four spot and Champions League qualification that comes with it must be the aim.
Ceballos won’t leave an enormous void in the team, especially if he’s sufficiently replaced with the Premier League duo mentioned above.
Despite the loanee’s praise, though, time could be running out for Arteta if expectations aren’t met for another year.
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