Real Madrid: A buried player Carlo Ancelotti may try to resurrect

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

When Carlo Ancelotti took the Real Madrid job this past summer, Madridistas immediately started coming up with a list of young players he could help elevate and veteran players he could help get back on track.

Though Ancelotti hasn’t quite been able to get Isco, Eden Hazard, or Gareth Bale back to top status, did he ever really stand a chance? And at a point, each of those players has shown flashes, with Hazard, if healthy, standing the best chance at starring in the second half of the 2021-2022 campaign.

Most importantly, Carletto has indeed gotten the most out of the highest-upside young player in Madrid, Vinicius Junior. His breakout season has helped Ancelotti guide Real Madrid to a first-place finish in LaLiga before the end of 2021. They are the favorites to win the title.

But Ancelotti won’t stop there when it comes to maximizing players. There is one more name to watch, and if Carlo can get the most out of him, it would be a very impressive feat for the legendary Italian manager.

Carlo Ancelotti thinks Dani Ceballos will be ‘important’

In a press conference in late December, Carlo Ancelotti stated that Real Madrid center midfielder Dani Ceballos will be “important” in the second half of the season.

Now, Ancelotti is generally positive and optimistic about his players in public, matching his reputation as a player-centric manager. But even considering this, a statement of that magnitude should be notable to Madridistas. Ancelotti sees something in Ceballos and believes the former Real Betis man has a role to play in his squad. And that may be a surprise to people who saw Ceballos flounder in the Premier League last season.

Nobody should expect big minutes for Ceballos. As we have seen with Eduardo Camavinga, Fede Valverde, and, especially, Antonio Blanco, breaking into the XI ahead of the golden trio of Luka Modric, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos is not possible.

But rotations will be more prevalent in the second half of the season. There is one competition primed for Ceballos to make an impression, and that is the Copa del Rey.

Dani Ceballos isn’t bad, but his 2020-2021 certainly was

The loanee at Arsenal is back in Madrid, and an injury has stopped him from getting a spot in the rotation. Now, he is healthy and probably eyeing the Copa, including the first fixture against the treacherous Alcoyano, as his chance.

Ceballos is not a bad player. Though his loan at Arsenal amounted to very little, he had some bright spots and was excellent for them in the late stages of the 2019-2020 season. Before that, Ceballos was class at Betis. Class enough to convince Real Madrid to spend nearly 20 million euros on him.

Next. The 5 players Real Madrid should have never sold. dark

He never convinced Zinedine Zidane, but he has never given up either. We should not be under any false impressions with Ceballos. He has a lot to prove and very little time to prove himself. But Ancelotti sounds optimistic and ready to give people chances in the Copa del Rey. So do not be surprised if we hear more about Ceballos and if a combination of a new manager and a whole lot of motivation is a spark for the No. 8. After all, we saw Mikel Arteta get the most out of the Spaniard when it was all on the line for him personally and for Arsenal in 2020.

With a move to Betis rumored but unlikely, this may be Ceballos’ only way to rehabilitate his transfer value after his atrocious 2020-2021 with the Gunners.