Real Madrid lost to Espanyol 2-1 earlier this season, and while a theme of this season has been revenge with wins over PSG, Chelsea, and even Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League coming into view – not to mention a recent bounce-back win over Getafe to atone for a 1-0 loss earlier this year – Real’s focus may not actually be on Espanyol.
Heavy rotations are expected for Saturday afternoon’s match at the Santiago Bernabeu, as Los Blancos have their eyes on a Wednesday night Remontada next week in the Champions League at the Bernabeu against Manchester City, down just 4-3 on aggregate.
As such, let’s take a look at a handful of Real Madrid players who could significantly increase either their value to the Merengues – or their value on the transfer market – with a strong performance on Saturday vs. Espanyol.
CM Dani Ceballos
We begin with center midfielder Dani Ceballos, whose excellent start against Osasuna and positive performance off the bench at Manchester City have already increased his value substantially. Once an afterthought for Madrid, Ceballos worked hard to shine in his limited minutes off the bench, and he has proven Carlo Ancelotti’s words months ago right. Ceballos has become, in a small way, important to Madrid.
It’s unclear if he will stay or not, but there are now rumblings that figures in Madrid are pushing for a renewal and not a transfer, including Ancelotti. Ceballos had been frequently linked with a move back to Real Betis.
With a strong performance against Espanyol in the starting XI, Ceballos can seal his future with the Merengues, or, of course, receive interest from more suitors than just the 2022 Copa del Rey winners.