Roll back the clocks to the 17th of August and Arsenal were feeling pretty great about themselves.
They’d won their first two games of the season, and it appeared they’d pulled off one of the deals of the summer.
Dani Ceballos had just put in a star performance in the 2-1 win over Burnley at the Emirates and pretty much everybody was raving about the Spaniard.
His loan move from Real Madrid was quickly looking like a masterstroke, with many predicting he could drive Arsenal forward this season.
A month and a half later, and Ceballos’ bright start has quickly diminished, with Spanish newspaper AS picking up on the situation.
They say his ‘presence in English football has slowed; his performance has blurred, (and) his determination has eroded’, explaining that while Ceballos has played in all nine of Arsenal’s games this season, he’s yet to finish 90 minutes.
The Spaniard has actually started more games on the bench than on the pitch, which was the case against Manchester United on Monday.
Ceballos was left in the dugout in place of Mateo Guendouzi at Old Trafford and that, according to AS, has ‘made it clear’ the Frenchman is first-choice for Unai Emery.
And that’s an issue, with it suggested that his performance against Burnley, which seemed like it would be ‘the first of many romantic evenings’ has now become a ‘mere curiosity’.
The situation is not at critical just yet, but AS explain it is creating ‘more and more doubt’ and that ‘the alarm’ is close to being set off.