Arsenal have secured the signing of Spanish international Dani Ceballos on a year-long loan deal from European giants Real Madrid.
According to a report from Squawka, the new arrival who also garnered huge interest from north London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, will wear the number 8 shirt previously donned by the Welsh international Aaron Ramsey, who left for Juventus in the summer.
The Spaniard made 34 appearances, with 13 of them starts, managing a total of 1922 minutes across all competitions last term.
Let’s have a look at how Ceballos will fit in at Emirates under the system set up by Gunners manager Unai Emery.
Formation (4-2-3-1, CAM)
The Spanish manager, who initially deployed a 4-2-3-1 system at Arsenal, previously used the same system during his time with the La Liga clubs, Sevilla and Valencia.
With the acquisition of Ceballos, this setup could make a return to the Emirates, which saw the north London outfit embark on a 22-game unbeaten run last season.
This is a detail-oriented structure which ensures a high press, wide play and a higher backline that could come in handy especially against mid and lower table clubs who usually prefer a low block.
The 47-year-old could also tinker with this setup during the game and change it to a 4-3-3, a system he used primarily at Paris Saint-Germain, seeing Ceballos’ versatility to play across each of defensive, central and attacking midfield areas on the pitch.
Emery is a tactically adept manager and with a flexible player in Ceballos, he is the perfect man to exploit the potential of the 22-year-old.
Formation (3-4-1-2, CM)
Despite the benefits of the aforementioned set up, a defensively fragile side like Arsenal are bound to suffer in a 4-2-3-1 system.
It was one of the main reasons the Spanish manager resorted to a back three mid-season to comply with the defensive frailties at Emirates.
However, the system limited the Gunners attacking threat and with star man Mesut Ozil not fitting into the plans last season, Emery’s side suffered heavily with the creativity in the middle of the park.
The former Real Betis man, who is basically a hybrid of a central and an attacking midfielder, can ease in both roles in this setup, without hindering the ingenuity of the midfield.
He can also cover up for the former German international in the role behind the striker if Ozil’s performances see a similar dip.
Formation (4-4-2, LCM)
Saving the best for the last, a 4-4-2 diamond structure is one of the best systems available to Emery, seeing the personnel at his disposal.
The Arsenal loanee whose best can be seen with the ball at his feet thrives in the wide areas of the midfield.
In this set-up, he can drop deep to collect the ball helping defenders in the build-up play and can orchestrate the play with his immaculate passing range and excellent ball-carrying skills.
Ceballos’ press resistance is another area where the Spanish international outclasses a majority of his opponents with his close control in tight areas on the pitch.
He recycles the possession in an efficient manner which could lead to exploitation of the open spaces left behind as a result of opposition’s press.
This will also allow Emery to keep both Ceballos and Ozil on the pitch which will be a great incentive in the attacking phase of the game while maintaining a perfect balance in the defensive half, seeing the work-rate of the 22-year-old.