Arsenal have their man.
Dani Ceballos, 22, has joined the Gunners from Real Madrid on a season-long loan with the Spanish international midfielder a direct replacement for Aaron Ramsey.
So much so that Arsenal have even given Ceballos the No.8 jersey formerly worn by Ramsey.
Speaking about his arrival in the Premier League, Ceballos revealed that his compatriots Unai Emery and Hector Bellerin played a big part in him switching the Spanish capital for England’s capital city.
“I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start,” Ceballos explained. “I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal.”
This move is all well and good for Arsenal, but don’t they need to strengthen in other areas first?
Ceballos is a hugely talented attacking midfielder who is highly-rated in Spain (even if Zinedine Zidane isn’t a member of his fan club) but with Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and youngsters like Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe around, this isn’t an area where they needed extra help.
Unless Unai Emery expects Callum Chambers to become the next Virgil Van Dijk (sorry, Callum, nothing personal) then Arsenal still have a huge hole to fill in central defense this summer. The main reason they didn’t finish in the top four last season was due to defensive issues and that doesn’t seem like changing anytime soon.
Another day, another new signing at Aston Villa.
Douglas Luiz, 21, has joined from Manchester City for a fee believed to be around $18.7 million as the Brazilian midfielder is Dean Smith’s 10th signing of the summer transfer window.
This addition takes Villa’s spending to almost $160 million this summer. Ka-ching.
Luiz has signed a five-year contract at Villa and after spending the last two seasons on loan at Girona following his move to Man City — City couldn’t get a work permit for Luiz so loaned him out to their sister club in Spain — the former Vasco da Gama man is ready to get rolling in the Premier League as he never made an appearance for City.
“I hope I can be a leader in the team,” Luiz said. “I hope I can help by bringing the ball out from the back and, although I don’t speak a lot of English, I hope I can help out by shouting orders from the back and live up to all the expectations as best as I can. I hope we have a great season and win a lot of games.
“Right now I’m confident in saying that, God willing, I can shine in the Premier League. So I hope I cannot just talk the talk but also walk the walk and that’s my main aim. I came here to learn but, more than anything, to dream big and to be a leader on the pitch.”
Luiz is a bullish defensive midfielder who will add to Smith’s options in the engine room alongside Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish and John McGinn.
The Brazilian joins Trezeguet, Anwar Al Ghazi, Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konza, Jota, Wesley, Kourtney Hause and Bjorn Engels as Villa’s new signing and they certainly aren’t missing about this summer.