Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told one player is as important as Aubameyang this summer

Arsenal need to focus on securing the future of Dani Ceballos one of their top priorities in the upcoming summer transfer window, because the Spaniard proved how vital he is to the side in Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea – according to Danny Murphy. Ceballos is on loan from Real Madrid, and speculation is ongoing over where he will be playing next year.

Ceballos put in a stunning performance at Wembley on Saturday.

The 23-year-old played in the middle of midfield with Granit Xhaka and was the link between defence and attack, constantly coming short to get the ball from the centre-backs.

The Spaniard has been impressive since joining on loan from Madrid last summer, but seems to have come into his own in recent weeks.

He will apparently discuss his future at the end of the season, with Madrid willing to sell.

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They will, however, reportedly only let him leave for £35million, which is more than the Gunners are willing to spend.

But Murphy believes Ceballos was the key to Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Chelsea, despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring both goals for the Gunners.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, the pundit explained that Ceballos’ willingnesss to get the ball deep and move it into attacking positions was vital to the win.

He warned that if they lose Ceballos as well as club captain Aubameyang, they will be in real danger of falling behind their rivals next season.


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Murphy wrote: “Watching Ceballos in the flesh really crystallised how important he is. His courage on the ball in tight situations allows Arsenal to play out from the back as Arteta wants. It is no longer Granit Xhaka on his own.

“What I like about the Spaniard is he is progressive with his passing. He always looks forward first. He is the one who plays those penetrative passes short and long. Aubameyang and his team-mates further forward are the beneficiaries.

“And though he is not the athletic player, the defensive aspect of his game is sound. He put himself in the firing line in terms of tackling Chelsea when I regarded him more of a No 10, a luxury player if you like, when he arrived.

“Arsenal have a big summer because this FA Cup-winning XI are only two or three players short of a really top team, particularly with the talented youngsters at the club like Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka.

“But lose Aubameyang and Ceballos and they are in big trouble because it will be very difficult without the attraction of Champions League football to attract players of similar quality without spending an awful lot of money.

“That is why it is worth going the extra mile with Aubameyang’s contract if it’s an issue.

“And if Real insist on Arsenal having to buy Ceballos instead of another loan, the reported fee of £35million seems very reasonable to me. Take him.

“The money Arsenal will pay to keep both of them will save them money in the long run.”

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