Press conference

Arteta - Why Ceballos and Nketiah started

Mikel Arteta sprang a surprise with his starting XI against Newcastle with the inclusion of both Eddie Nketiah and Dani Ceballos.

So why did our head coach choose to shake up his team?

“The message is very clear, whoever trains like they do and I see that they have the abilities, the quality and their hunger like [Nketiah’s] done to perform today, he’s got a chance to play,” Arteta said.

“Today I decided to play Eddie because he has been training in a phenomenal way, I decided for him not to go on loan and to stay and as well I have to support that decision. Laca has been playing all the games with me, he hasn’t scored and I told him the decision why and he accepted really well. I said ‘come out and you will score a goal’, he did and I’m so pleased not just for the goal, but for the reaction of all his team-mates and the staff. They showed how much they love him.

“I thought Dani was ideal for this game in that game position today,” he added. “The way he’s been training, he completely deserves a chance, and I’m so glad with his performance.”

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