Until now, Dani Ceballos has seemed set on returning to Real Madrid, but is the 23-year-old falling in love with Arsenal?
Most players who leave Arsenal say ‘once a Gunner, always a Gunner’ and it is true there is something special about turning out in the red and white of Arsenal. But Dani Ceballos had spoken previously of his desire to return to Real Madrid and stake a claim there.
It was one of two reasons he gave for not wanting to make his Arsenal switch permanent this summer.
But in a lengthy interview with the mainstream press back in September, I was struck by how gushing he was about the club, fans, and city.
‘”To get that was surprising for me,” he said of his welcome when he made his home debut. “It was my first game at home and it was as if I had been there for 10 years.
“I am really keen to show what I can do. I’m loving the city, I’m loving the Premier League and I’m loving Arsenal. It’s much easier for a player to adapt in England because of the way the supporters make you feel.”
Much about his future depends on Zinedine Zidane who seems to be the only one at Real Madrid who doesn’t want Ceballos.
Should he remain, Arsenal’s chances of convincing Ceballos to stay past his one-year loan deal increase.
If Zidane leaves and Ceballos continues to impress, I fear only broken Arsenal hearts await in the summer.
In a follow up interview given this month, Ceballos seemed to hint very strongly that he was angling for a permanent move to Arsenal only to shatter Arsenal hearts by clarifying a few days later that he wants to succeed at Real Madrid.
As Dan noted in his piece, the life of a loan player is a perilous one as they try to keep two sets of fans with conflicting motives happy.
Given that we are only in October, there feel a lot more life left in this story before we get a definitive answer one way of the other next summer…