Arsenal close in on second loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos

Arsenal are set to complete the loan deal of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, which would keep the Spaniard in North London until the end of the season, according to MARCA.

Talks for the transfer had been going on for a few days and were concluded yesterday afternoon, with the deal not including a option or obligation to buy at the end of it, according to the report.

Furthermore, according to Spanish radio station Ondacero, Arsenal will pay a €4m (£3.56m) loan fee to Real Madrid in order to complete the purchase of Ceballos.

The 24-year-old had a mixed time with the Gunners last season as he struggled to find his feet under Unai Emery and Freddie Ljungberg, however the arrival of Mikel Arteta saw the Spanish midfielder excel under his guidance.

During Arteta’s reign at Arsenal, Ceballos has developed into a more defensively aware player, having been more attacking minded when he joined the club. The midfielder is now capable of sitting deep and protecting the defenders behind him, with the Spaniard knowing where to stand to cut of passing lanes and make crucial interceptions.

Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos making a challenge against Manchester City in the Gunners’ 2-0 victory in the FA Cup semi final over the Citizens. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

Ceballos’ stats, compared to other Arsenal players, only further demonstrate his growth in defensive ability, but also his importance to the Arsenal team. The Spaniard has made more tackles (1.9 per90) and interceptions (1.3 per90) than any of his fellow Gunners midfielders in the 2019/20 Premier League season.

The Madrid midfielder was not only important in defensive scenarios, but also when contributing to the attack last season too. In the Premier League, Ceballos completed more successful dribbles than any of Arsenal’s midfielders (1.1 per90) and was only topped by Mesut Ozil in regards to key passes played per 90 minutes, however the German played 250 minutes less than the Spaniard.

With deals for other midfielders such as Thomas Partey and even Houssem Aouar dragging on, and the likely exits of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, the Gunners are in desperate need for a midfielder, with Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Joe Willock Arsenal’s only senior options in the midfield department.

Therefore, the return of Dani Ceballos to North London is one that will certainly excite a huge number of Arsenal fans, especially after his excellent end to the 2019/20 season. While most supporters would probably have been hoping for a purchase option at the end of the loan, in the current financial circumstances, this was probably a wise move from the Gunners.

*all stats provided by WhoScored.com.

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