Dani Ceballos returned to the Spanish capital for just a day before Zinedine Zidane and the Real Madrid board sent the midfielder back to London and Arsenal on loan. What should we as Madridistas expect from Ceballos in his second year in England?
Dani Ceballos‘ future with Real Madid is beginning to waiver.
The former Real Betis man was signed in the summer of 2017 to help add depth behind Casemiro, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric, but after two full seasons with Los Blancos, Zidane nor the board thought they should keep the player around to make sparing appearances.
Of course, the writing was on the wall when Ceballos voiced his unhappiness with the reduced role he was given at the big club and when it became clear that Zidane preferred the likes of Fede Valverde or Martin Odegaard over Ceballos.
Now back with Mikel Arteta and the Gunners after a rather successful campaign in 2019/2020, what should we as Real Madrid fans expect from Dani on the pitch and what will it take for him to “earn” a place back in Zidane’s rotation?
Let me begin by saying it is extremely difficult to set expectations right now because we do not know if Arsenal are done making moves in the transfer market or not.
As an Arsenal fan told me, the situation is complex and many fans believe they can sign either Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid or Houssem Aouar from Lyon to help strengthen the midfield depth. He also told me the situation even before these transfers happen or do not is “complex.”
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Arteta clearly has a good working relationship with Ceballos as the Real Madrid loanee was a regular in the Premier League squad and earned the respect of Gunner fans with his high work rate on both ends of the pitch and his consistency.
He made 24 appearances in league play and another 13 across the Europa League and two domestic cup competitions. So, clearly, Arteta enjoys the way the midfielder plays and feels his style is perfect for his system.
As clear as it is that Arteta prefers Ceballos to others in his first-team, it is just as clear that Zidane does not have a spot for or wants to give Dani even a berth on the bench.
For this and next season at least, Kroos, Modric, and Casemiro are the starters. Once Kroos and Modric consider retirement, it will be Odegaard, Takefusa Kubo, Valverde, Isco, and Marco Asensio who carry the torch.
In my opinion, Ceballos is playing for a full transfer to Arsenal or trying to draw enough interest from Betis to make a hero’s return in 2021. I don’t see Dani Ceballos putting on the all white kit of Real Madrid again.