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Dani Ceballos set to refuse return to Real Madrid with Zinedine Zidane still at the helm

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Arsenal’s summer loan signing, Dani Ceballos, is reported to be unwilling to return to his parent club Real Madrid if current manager Zinedine Zidane is still at the helm.

The iconic French manager rarely included the Spanish metronome last season whilst Ceballos was still at the club and the midfielder is looking to avoid that situation again.

However, at Arsenal, the 23-year-old has been featuring regularly with Unai Emery said to be very fond of Ceballos’ brilliant skillset.

The Spanish international was brought in to North London in the summer as a replacement for the departure of Aaron Ramsey.

With Ceballos still being extremely young and showing great potential, Los Blancos were unwilling to sell causing the Gunners to loan him without an option to buy in a bid to find a short term solution to the Ramsey-shaped hole in their midfield.

Therefore, Ceballos has been asked to take the creative burden especially considering that both Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka are rarely featuring for the club and rumoured to be exiting in the January transfer window.

Ceballos’ debut for the Gunners against Burnely was a spectacle as he showcased his sensational creativity and vision alongside his tenacity in pressing, all of which earned him a standing ovation from the Arsenal fans when he was substituted.

However, as like the team, his performances following have been hit and miss for the most part as he has struggled to put in high quality and consistent performances.

Unai Emery’s men currently sit in 6th and have only scored 16 goals in 12 Premier League games- a tally which is joint third-worst in the top half of the table.

The Spanish coach’s tactical question has been called into question very often, which could be a reason as to why Ceballos has been underperforming recently.

The former Real Betis player has featured in 17 games in all competitions for the Gunners while just directly contributing to 3 goals. Ceballos will not be able to add to that tally in the near future as he is battling with a thigh injury.

On the other hand, his parent club Real Madrid have been more impressive as of late, having won four of their last four games.

Zidane’s side currently sit 2nd in the La Liga standings albeit on the same points as league leaders and arch-nemesis Barcelona.

The Frenchman has, however, come under criticism often this season as Los Merengues have relatively underperformed in the Champions League with a 3-0 defeat to an understrength Paris Saint-Germain being a cause for concern.

Ceballos has a deal to keep him at the Bernabeau until 2023, but with the talent pool at Real Madrid in his position, it is unlikely for him to get an opportunity.

Thus, it boosts the chances of Unai Emery’s team of signing the Spaniard in signing him permanently in the near future.

I am a passionate football fan studying in Swansea University. I have written for a number of football based publications including 90min. You can contact me via my email here, or connect and view my linkdin profile

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