Unai Emery has fended off questions regarding Arsenal’s reported interest in doing a £30 million ($39m) deal for Dani Ceballos, with the Gunners boss claiming it is “too soon” to discuss a potential agreement.
The Spain international arrived at Emirates Stadium over the summer on a season-long loan and, having been deemed surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, the 23-year-old was happy to take on a new challenge in England.
A bright start to his time in north London has seen many call for him to be snapped up permanently, with questions asked of Emery’s decision to bench Ceballos for a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United.
The Arsenal manager is aware of the speculation suggesting that he wants a fellow countryman tied down long term, but claims to be paying little attention to it at present.
Quizzed on the transfer talk ahead of a Europa League outing against Vitoria de Guimaraes on Thursday, Emery said: “I think it is too soon to say that. Ceballos is doing great things here, he is playing regularly.
“Of course I know he has a lot of potential and I think this is just the beginning.
“But, always, all the players need time to adapt to the Premier League. He’s in that process and I really want to accelerate it.
“We are trying to use that energy and enthusiasm reflected in the way we want to play.
“He has had some good games, sometimes it’s not been easy for him. But I think that’s normal.
“But I think it’s too soon to say that we want to incorporate him in different conditions.
“We are only in October, still a long way to take that process.
“The ultimate goal for me with Ceballos is that he can bring us all his potential and help us to achieve all our goals as a team, with more positive performances. We are more than happy to count on him.”
Ceballos has taken in 12 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions.
His early outings in 2019-20 saw him billed as a suitable successor to fellow Spaniard Santi Cazorla in a midfield playmaking post for the Gunners.
There has been the odd dip since then, as there has been as a collective for Emery’s side, but there is still plenty of potential to be unlocked in both a talented individual and a team harbouring ambitions of breaking back into the Premier League’s top four this season.