UNAI EMERY feared new signing Dani Ceballos had broken his ankle in pre-season but the Arsenal loanee proved his hardman credentials by making an immediate return.
The Spanish midfielder arrived at the Emirates on a season long loan from Real Madrid and made his first appearance in red during a 2-1 friendly loss to Lyon last month.
Ceballos was then given minutes against Barcelona but suffered a knock which Emery believed would be a broken ankle.
However, the Gunners boss praised the new No8 for making a swift return to training, and urged more players to be like the Spaniard.
Emery said: “Ceballos’ mind is very strong.
“His mentality. Last Sunday, when he received a big kick on his ankle I thought ‘oh, it’s broken’.
“But after, on Monday, he was training – (he said) ‘I’m fine and want to train’.
“He is showing us every day his ambition, his hunger is big. I think we need players like this.”
Following Ceballos to North London was forward Nicolas Pepe, who Arsenal paid a club record £72m to sign the winger from Lille
But the Gunners boss has to assess if Ivorian, along with striker Alexandre Lacazette are fit to start the game at Newcastle today.
Emery said: “We are going to start Sunday with players who I am very convinced can perform now at 100 per cent.
“For some, that’s impossible for them to achieve that performance for us because they arrived later or started training with us after injuries.
“He’s been working with us for one week. Also progressively, I want him to feel good with his team-mates, with the coaches and with us training.
“It’s different how we train here compared to how he trained at Lille. I want to give him the best moment to play with us, to make his debut with us.
“Maybe it can be Sunday, but I am going to decide on Sunday.”
Deadline day signing David Luiz is in line to start the game, but left-back Kieran Tierney is still ruled out with a hernia problem.