Mikel Arteta says he spoke to Dani Ceballos about the midfielder’s situation on loan at Arsenal, but it’s too early to comment on the player’s future.
Arteta responded to a question around the reports of a possible recall for Dani Ceballos circulating this week. It started last Thursday, when David Ornstein suggested the player is unhappy with his current situation.
Then, reports from Spain suggested Ceballos was in talks with Real Madrid over ending his loan early. He also posted a cryptic comment on Hector Bellerin’s Instagram suggesting he’ll “miss” the right-back’s left-footed goals after Chelsea game.
Arsenal head coach Arteta spoke about his experience of the situation so far.
“I had a conversation with Dani [Ceballos],” Arteta said (via Arsenal and Charles Watts). “When I joined the club he wasn’t here, he was in Madrid. He was doing his rehab for over a month in Madrid – the team that owns him.
“Then when I came here he was doing his rehab back the first two or three weeks. He was getting back to fitness. I haven’t seen much of him because he only trained with us a week or 10 days.
“It’s very early to asses what I can do or cannot do with him. I heard about all those things but I have nothing to comment. He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place.”
What does this mean for Ceballos’ future?
There’s certainly nothing definitive there, either way. Arteta’s clearly not ruling out the possibility of a recall, but it also sounds like he’s blaming fitness for Ceballos’ exclusion so far.
The 23-year-old still hasn’t played a minute since returning from injury. If he is only on the bench for fitness reasons, maybe he’ll start playing regularly soon.
It’s a bit of a strange situation though. Ceballos was in the squad against Manchester United all the way back on January 1st, over three weeks ago. Then again on January 6th for the Leeds game. Now, Arteta is saying he only rejoined training 10 days ago?
Ceballos wasn’t in the squad against Crystal Palace on January 11th, so it’s possible he had a small setback and only rejoined training 10 days ago. Still, Arteta must have had a chance to look at him for at least a week after New Year.
All the signs point towards the reports being true, that Ceballos does want to return and get another loan. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen though, especially in Arsenal’s current situation.