Zinedine Zidane has denied there is a problem between him and Dani Ceballos with the media claiming the Real Madrid head coach doesn’t like the player.
Arsenal announced the arrival of Dani Ceballos on a year-long loan from Real Madrid this week and, with his arrival, came stories of the player being out of favour with Zidane.
Zidane, however, was keen to squash that rumour.
“No, it’s not that I did not get along with Dani Ceballos that he left the team,” Zidane said.
“I think he needed a lot more play[ing time] because he’s an important player.
“It’s true that at Real, he did not have enough minutes, that’s all. There are a lot of players here, a lot of competition.
“I wish him to play many games and do well with his new team, Arsenal.”
Ceballos signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid when he moved from Real Betis in 2017. Since then, he has made 56 appearances (scoring five goals and assisting two) with an average of 50 minutes per game. That represents just 31 full games in two seasons. A sprained ankle and four games missed was his only injury problem.
The 22-year-old spoke about having the confidence of Unai Emery and the importance of that to him when he arrived. “I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start,” Ceballos told Arsenal.com.
“I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal.
“The coach was the turning point in terms of me joining this massive club. He’s a Spanish coach and he knows me from my time at other clubs. I’m really happy to be able to help Arsenal achieve our objectives.
“He’s a very tactical coach and I think that’s going to really help me to perfect my positioning. I think we’re both going to try our best to make me a better player.”
Real Madrid are reluctant to sell him, hence the lack of a purchase option in the loan deal, but can he really convince Zidane he deserves a starring role in his side in the 20/21 season?
The only way to do that will be to have an outstanding 19/20 and that can only benefit Arsenal.