According to Spanish publication AS, Dani Ceballos is now set to stay at Arsenal for the time being.
The midfielder joined the Gunners on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, with reports suggesting they had pipped north London rivals Tottenham to his signature.
Reports in recent weeks had claimed Ceballos was keen on cutting his loan spell with the Gunners short, with one eye on making his way to EURO 2020 with Spain. Now, AS reveal the Spaniard is set to stay at the club, and that his introduction as a substitute against Bournemouth last time out boosted his morale.
As a loan signing, there may always be that sense of trepidation about wanting to build your side around them as you know there’s a good chance they will be leaving for good. It’s very much a temporary fix, with no long-term guarantees. And Mikel Arteta perhaps would have had reservations about playing Ceballos in his team, with the knowledge he could be on his way out in the January window.
But if AS’ report is accurate, then Arteta can already start to plan for the rest of the season with Ceballos in mind. Mesut Ozil has endured a torrid campaign for the Gunners in terms of his goal contributions, failing to find the back of the net and providing just two assists in 18 games across all competitions.
Ceballos’ cameo against Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round provided a tantalising glimpse of what he can bring to the table, and potentially becoming an Ozil replacement. As per Sofascore, in the 21 minutes he was on the pitch, he had a 100% pass accuracy, provided one key pass and won his one contested duel.
Playing him in that pivotal number ten role could see Arteta have someone who has the guile to unlock doors, but have the tenacity to do the defensive work too. The Gunners boss’ rebuild could finally be completed now that there is some clarity over Ceballos’ immediate future.