A 2-1 victory in the FA Cup final ended a rather eventful domestic campaign for Arsenal.
After two head coaches and unforeseen levels of disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Gunners finished with another FA Cup trophy and a feeling that things are heading in the right direction under Mikel Arteta.
However, attention will quickly turn to the transfer market with Arsenal needing to address a number of areas across the pitch.
An early piece of good news ahead of an action-packed transfer window was Dani Ceballos outlining that he would like to stay at the club for the 2020/21 campaign.
A decision is yet to be made by his parent club Real Madrid but the 23-year-old appears to be happy in north London.
He told El Pais: “If I had to choose Arsenal again, I would.
“When I have had continuity, like now at Arsenal, I have been enjoying and developing good football. My hope is to continue at this level: right now I feel like the leader of this important team, a player with stripes.
“Surrounded by people who believe in you, it is easier to believe in people. When you play like this and you also have the confidence of the coach everything is easier.”
Ceballos’ willingness to stay at Arsenal this summer points towards a promising future for the club, but one that will undoubtedly demand several pieces of good transfer business.
In the case of Ceballos, as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the club’s top priority should be trying to keep this group of players together before thinking about potential new arrivals.
The Spanish midfielder has been excellent in the second half of the campaign and his man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea on Saturday showed why the Gunners should do everything they can to keep him for at least one more season.
Continued links to Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey suggest Arsenal may be looking to bolster the long-term midfield options in the transfer market, but there are a number of reasons to suggest that Ceballos should be the number one target.
Since Arteta arrived at the Emirates back in December, the majority of his work with the current squad has been about getting the very best from each player in different tactical systems.
The Arsenal head coach has favoured a more possession-based style of play than Unai Emery but a clear shift in the balance of the team has been an important factor.
Ceballos has arguably been the most crucial element of adding a balance between defence and attack since Arteta’s arrival.
The 23-year-old’s ability to retain possession in key areas and progress into the final third has helped the likes of Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette receive more opportunities in front of goal.
In addition, his impressive performance against Chelsea on Saturday highly contrasted the lack of defensive structure and penetration in the Blues’ midfield which proved to be a decisive factor in the match – and one that has traditionally gone against Arsenal’s midfield.
Those factors are worth bearing in mind when the Gunners’ hierarchy discuss transfer plans this summer.
Ceballos is a player who has already proven to be a success under Arteta and his increasing importance towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign highlights why he should be a top priority.
Partey, of course, remains an attractive proposition if signing him is financially viable.
But the domestic campaign being just six weeks away suggests that trusting in tried and trusted players would be a big sign of the club’s belief in Arteta to take Arsenal forward.