‘Ceballos is just brilliant – and he’s getting better’

first_imgIt’s not often a player arrives at a club and makes an impression as immediate as the one Dani Ceballos has at Arsenal.The midfielder – on loan for the season from Real Madrid – only linked up with his new team-mates a fortnight before the start of the new Premier League season following a summer of transfer speculation that also saw him linked with Spurs.But in that time he has forced his way into the starting XI, picked up two assists and been named man of the match following a sparkling display in his home debut as Unai Emery’s side beat Burnley 2-1. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Ceballos has been the talk of the Emirates since Saturday’s win against the Clarets, with fans and pundits surprised at the ease with which he seems to have adjusted to his new surroundings.But Joe Willock, who started alongside the Spaniard in midfield against Burnley, knew from the first time he saw him that Arsenal had signed someone special.“Dani’s a top player,” said Willock. “We see it every day in training, he’s just brilliant. He’s very technical.“He showed on Saturday how good he is going to be and what he will bring to the team. It was a good performance from him. He was top class.“And every day he’s getting fitter, every day he’s getting better.”Ceballos looks certain to keep his place in the team when Arsenal travel to Liverpool this weekend to take on Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders.That game – which will see the only two sides still with a 100 per cent record in the Premier League meet – will represent a totally different challenge for Ceballos amidst the intense Anfield atmosphere.Arsenal have a dreadful record at Liverpool in recent years. They have conceded 12 goals there in their last three league games – including five last season when they were thumped 5-1, with Roberto Firmino scoring a hat-trick.That followed on from a 4-0 defeat the previous season and so there will be few who’ll give Emery’s side much hope against the Champions League holders on Saturday, despite their strong start to the season.Willock, though, is insistent that Arsenal can go to Merseyside and get a result.“Liverpool are a good side,” said the 20-year-old. “Everyone knows that they won the Champions League [last season].“But we believe in what we can do and our philosophy. We are going to stick by that, bring the game to them and see what happens. I believe in us.”Despite his fine performances over the opening two games of the campaign, Willock’s place in the starting XI at Anfield could be under threat due to the return of Granit Xhaka.The Switzerland international missed the Burnley match through a lower back and leg injury, but is hoping to be available for the trip to Liverpool.Xhaka’s return would give Emery a big decision to make. But even if Willock does miss out, the mere fact that he is in contention for a match of this magnitude shows the huge steps he has taken in recent months.He describes the game against Burnley – his first home league start for his boyhood club – as a ’special moment’ and it was one made even sweeter by the fact he started alongside Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, two other graduates from Arsenal’s Hale End academy.“It shows how good Hale End is,” said Willock. “But that’s Arsenal’s philosophy, that’s what the club wants to do, to put youngsters in the first-team and give them experience.“To be alongside my closest friend Reiss is amazing. It’s a dream, we’re living our dream.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

‘Maddison won’t follow Maguire to Man Utd’

first_imgJames Maddison continues to see his future at Leicester called into question, but Emile Heskey is not expecting the midfielder to follow Harry Maguire in making a big-money move to the likes of Manchester United or Liverpool.Speculation suggests that a man who has forced his way in the senior England set-up will be targeted by a Premier League heavyweight at some stage.His creativity is considered to be what an underperforming side at Old Trafford is lacking, while Jurgen Klopp is still in the market for a new No.10 to replace Philippe Coutinho. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Sizeable offers, be that in January or beyond, would test Leicester’s resolve, but former Foxes frontman Heskey cannot see a sale being sanctioned by the King Power Stadium board as Brendan Rodgers seeks to build something special.“Leicester are under no pressure to sell Maddison and I expect they’ll fight off any interest,” Heskey told bwin.“They don’t need the money and I think it’s fully in Rodgers’ hands whether he leaves or not.“Rodgers will want Maddison to stay and I don’t think there is any reason for Maddison to want to move elsewhere when he is getting support and lots of game-time at the club. Rodgers will be building his game plans around Maddison, which means that Maddison suits what Rodgers wants to do at Leicester. He look confident and happy, so I doubt he’ll be having any thoughts on leaving.“Clubs are always going to enquire, as they do with any top talent, but Leicester have become a more attractive proposition and I’m confident he will stay.”Harry Maguire Manchester United 2019-20Leicester did agree to part with commanding centre-half Maguire in the last transfer window, with a record-breaking £80 million ($98m) deal adding him to the books at Manchester United.Heskey believes that was the right call, adding: “Maguire leaving Leicester was a win-win situation for both clubs, but I think Leicester will be more happy with the deal. They received very good money for Maguire and [Caglar] Soyuncu has taken over seamlessly. The fans had worries but he has quashed any concern that may have existed at the start of the season with his excellent performances.“Maguire leaving Leicester meant a big cash influx for the club and they had Soyuncu progressing and needing games, so it was the right decision to let Maguire go to Manchester United, who were in need of him. It was important for Leicester to get a player like Maguire, who wanted to be defending, winning headers and getting involved in tackles – and they have that in Soyuncu.”Another of those to have been linked with a move in the past is prolific striker Jamie Vardy, but he remains on Leicester’s books at 32 years of age and Heskey feels he could go on to hang up his boots as a Foxes frontman.The ex-England international added: “I think Jamie Vardy will retire at Leicester, he won’t leave the club. He’s still got a lot of games left in him and he seems to get better with age.“Vardy will be at Leicester for a long time yet – he looks younger and younger by the season. He’s quicker than he ever has been and is definitely one of the fastest in the Premier League. He’s loved at the club and I think he’s settled there now.”last_img read more