Dani Ceballos signed for Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid with the announcement coming on Friday night but will he be available to play against Fulham?
Dani Ceballos was only confirmed as an Arsenal player on 4 September. Most of us expected that would mean the Spaniard, having returned home to Spain following Arsenal’s FA Cup win against Chelsea, would spend the opening week of the season in quarantine.
As per the Home Office guidelines, which seem to change more frequently than Boris Johnson changes his underwear, anyone entering the UK from Spain is required to spend 14 days in isolation.
Ceballos, however, played for Arsenal against Aston Villa on 5 September in their behind-closed-doors friendly. That means he must have completed his period in quarantine before 5 September when that game took place. That would mean he arrived in England sometime around or before 21 August.
Or it would do, if he was a normal human like you or me.
As Arsenal played Liverpool in the Community Shield on 29 August, Ceballos was tweeting about the game:
— Daniel Ceballos (@DaniCeballos46) August 29, 2020
I wasn’t sure if that was sun and sea in the background, so I went a little further back in his timeline and saw that on 23 August he tweeted:
Vacaciones en la mejor compañía 🙌🏻💚
— Daniel Ceballos (@DaniCeballos46) August 23, 2020
I don’t know much but I know that’s definitely not England.
Elite sports people exist on a different planet to the rest of us with their own rules so, as Ceballos was holidaying in Spain, he didn’t need to quarantine before joining up with his Real Madrid teammates.
As he was then already inside an Elite Sport bubble by virtue of being back in training with Real Madrid, he was allowed to transfer to Arsenal without having to quarantine.
Gabriel wasn’t so fortunate as he moved before Lille had returned to training.
This is literally a loophole so big you can get a whole Spanish footballer through it.
Anyway, the point is, as Ceballos played for Arsenal on Saturday against Aston Villa, we can assume he is fit and available to play for Arsenal against Fulham this weekend in what would be identical conditions, only at a different ground.