Dani Ceballos reckons new Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is similar to Cristiano Ronaldo during his Real Madrid days.
Following his loan move from Real this summer, Ceballos has proven to be a real coup for Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
The 23-year-old instantly adapted to English football, and is now a vital member of the Gunners midfield. He even delivered two assists in a man of the match display for his full debut against Burnley on August 17.
Ceballos also made another telling impact during the recent north London derby against Tottenham, where his second-half introduction helped inspire Arsenal to overcome a two-goal deficit to scrap a 2-2 draw.
And now the Spain international has opened up on life at the Emirates Stadium, and reserved special praise for Arsenal’s attackers.
He even believes Aubameyang, who has scored three goals in four league games this season, has similar scoring traits to his old Real team-mate Ronaldo.
“We’ve got a very good, compact side and the three up front really make the difference,” Ceballos told The Guardian.
“You can compare Aubameyang to Cristiano [Ronaldo] when he was at Madrid in the sense that he plays close to the goal he lives for scoring.
“He’s very important for us, fundamental.”
Interestedly, though, it’s Alexandre Lacazette who gets the nod as Arsenal’s best player in Ceballos’ eyes.
He added: “[Nicolas] Pepe is very direct. And Lacazette, for me, is the best player. He understands the game perfectly and, if he’s 100 per cent, he’s going to give us so much.”
Ceballos also opened up on his struggles to make his mark at the Santiago Bernabeu under Zinedine Zidane.
Things got so bad, in fact, that the young Spaniard had to employ a personal coach to stay fit. This happened after Zidane only started him once in 11 games following his return in March last season.
“You have to be realistic,” said Ceballos.
“The two good games I’ve had so far for Arsenal I never had in two years at Madrid. I didn’t play a lot but it’s also true that, when I played, I didn’t play as I can. That’s related to confidence but you have to be self-critical.”
Although Zidane did deny he ever had any problems with Ceballos in July, and wished him well for the season.
The young Spaniard will return to action for Arsenal’s trip to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.