According to AS, Arsenal have denied Dani Ceballos the permission to leave the club in this January transfer window. The Spaniard wants to part ways with the North Londoners amid fears that he could lose his place in the national team due to the lack of playing time under the current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
However, the Gunners are not willing to send him back to Santiago Bernabeu, with his loan contract only set to expire at the end of the season. In this article, we will discuss why this could be the right decision from Arteta.
Arsenal’s lack of depth in midfield
Following the departure of Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny (on loan) in the summer, Arsenal’s lack of depth in the midfield department is already well documented. Arteta has so far utilised three midfield options in Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.
Xhaka and Torreira have been ever-present figures in the starting lineup since the arrival of the Spaniard. However, any injuries could force Arsenal to rely on Guendouzi and even Ceballos, who is yet to feature in a game since returning from injury earlier this year.
While Joe Willock is also an option, Ceballos’ experience at the highest level of football makes him a viable first-team option, especially as Arsenal brace themselves for Europa League action during the second half of the campaign. Hence, his presence in the team could be vital despite his apparent lack of first-team chances.
No creative output
Mesut Ozil has performed reasonably well following the appointment of Arteta. But, without the German sensation, Arsenal lack the presence of an appropriate number ten, who can provide the creative essence in the final third.
Emile Smith Rowe showed a lot of promise earlier in the campaign. However, the youngster has been loaned out to Huddersfield Town in this January transfer window. That means Ceballos is the only remaining option for Arteta in the creative department, especially if Ozil struggles with an injury or fails to perform at a high level.
The Spaniard’s ability to act as a ball-carrier makes him an ideal number ten, though he primarily likes to operate as a number eight.
Perhaps the biggest issue regarding the potential departure of Ceballos this month is that Arsenal will be forced to find a replacement in a very short period. Indeed, the ongoing winter transfer window is set to slam shut within a week and given the competitive nature of the market; it would be quite challenging for the Gunners to secure a viable replacement for the Real Madrid midfielder.
Therefore, the decision to keep hold of Ceballos this month is undoubtedly the right choice by Arteta, who is sure to embrace the qualities of his compatriot as we slowly head towards the business end of the campaign.
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