Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos has been at Arsenal since July 2019, having been unable to impress Zinedine Zidane that he deserves a place in the first-team squad of his parent club. However that could change this summer, according to one report.
According to a Defensa Central ‘exclusive’, the 24-year-old will be given the opportunity to prove himself to Zidane during the upcoming pre-season.
Los Blancos are supposedly keen to strengthen in the midfield area this summer and, taking into account the financial impact of the global pandemic, it appears their initial plan may be to look for solutions within.
Following his first season in north London, Ceballos was re-signed on loan by the Gunners. However, Real Madrid have made it clear they have no intention of allowing him to remain in the Premier League for a third season unless a permanent transfer is completed.
Ceballos joined the Spanish champions in 2017 and is contracted until June 2023 but has he done enough at Arsenal to prove his worth to his parent club?
Initially brought to London by Unai Emery, the former Real Betis player’s Gunners career has had its ups and downs. At times, Ceballos has proven himself to be an excellent midfield player capable of dictating the tempo of games but perhaps too frequently for Mikel Arteta’s liking, he has gone missing.
When assessing his performances in an Arsenal shirt to date, inconsistency is the word that comes to mind and that is likely the reason, following the arrival of Thomas Partey he has found himself on the substitutes bench regularly.
The Gunners’ first-choice midfield currently comprises of the Ghanaian and Granit Xhaka. Despite the Switzerland international’s tendency to make high-profile errors, in the eyes of the boss at least, he is more capable of delivering on a consistent basis than the loanee.
Zidane is said to have been keeping a very close eye on Ceballos this season. It is understood that based on what he has seen, he is willing to re-assess the player during the summer. The Spaniard has, throughout his time in London, made his intentions of returning to the Bernabeu and proving himself clear.
As the Gunners look to salvage what has been a difficult season so far by going all the way in the Europa League, their shift in focus may lead to greater rotation in the Premier League – affording Ceballos more opportunities to showcase what he can do prior to his return to Spain.
If Arsenal were to fail to qualify for Europe next season, it is likely to have a significant impact on their transfer plans given the club recently announced a loss of £47.8m for the financial year from 2019-20.
As such, the chances of Arsenal tempting Real Madrid into a sale with an attractive offer, especially given his form, seem slim.
The remainder of the campaign then will be about taking any opportunities he is given ahead of a pre-season potentially under Zidane’s watchful eye.