Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes Mikel Arteta should deploy Dani Ceballos in a more advanced midfield role this season in order to unlock the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
The Spaniard extended his stay at the Emirates by a further 12 months in August after Arsenal agreed a second one-year loan deal with his parent club Real Madrid.
The midfielder is popular with supporters and he displayed his vision during an impressive cameo appearance in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
Ceballos started the game on the bench but Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny failed to deliver any service for Arsenal’s three-man frontline, who were starved of service until the Spaniard came on.
Arsenal are keen on signing Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar to fill their creative void but Wright believes Ceballos could be another option.
‘Like I say the creativity from the midfield is a problem at the moment, the sooner they can sort that out the better,’ Wright told Premier League Productions after Arsenal’s defeat at Anfield.
‘I think Dani Ceballos can play a bit further up and push on, especially if we’re going to player a counter-attacking style.
‘You cannot play a game and not get a guy as potent as Aubameyang in the game and get him some chances.
‘Mikel [Arteta] has to do something to get him into it. Unfortunately with Xhaka and Elneny – yes they can take the ball from the centre halves – but they can’t progress it into the forward areas. We didn’t keep the ball at all today. That’s what Mikel has got to worry about.’
The Gunners are prioritising a deal for Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar but still have hopes of signing Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder Thomas Partey.
Wright believes the addition of Aouar could help Arsenal’s lack of creativity in midfield.
‘You can see that in Liverpool’s team everyone can move forward because Arsenal were starting so deep but what was evident to me was that we didn’t have that person in midfield who was comfortable enough on the ball until Ceballos came on,’ said Wright.
‘[They need] Someone who they can pass the ball to, who is comfortable to receive it with someone on his back, who can pop it off, who can turn it round the corner. From there Arsenal can play but we can’t do that at the moment. That’s why it’s imperative we get Aouar from Lyon.
‘He’s someone that can get on the ball and get the forwards going. you saw the chances that Ceballos made when he came on. that’s what Arsenal need.’