May 11, 2021

Decision on Ceballos’ Arsenal future was ‘made weeks ago’ as Arteta confirms he warned midfielder before red vs Villarreal

Decision on Ceballos’ Arsenal future was ‘made weeks ago’ as Arteta confirms he warned midfielder before red vs Villarreal

An update on the future of on-loan Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has been forthcoming online on Friday.

Pepe pulls one back

The name of Spanish international Ceballos has of course been back in the headlines over the last 24 hours.

This comes with the 24-year-old having been lucky not to cost Arsenal dear in the club’s meeting with Villarreal.

Mikel Arteta and co. made the trip to the Estadio de la Ceramica on Thursday night, for the first-leg of their crunch Europa League semi-final showdown with Villarreal.

The clash marked a crucial one for the Gunners, with Europa League glory representing the club’s only realistic shot at securing European football for next season.

In turn, when Arsenal fell two goals behind inside half an hour courtesy of strikes from Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol, the hopes of the Premier League giants looked set to go up in smoke.

This was then followed by the aforementioned Ceballos being sent for an early bath just shy of the hour mark, after picking up a needless 2nd yellow card.

Thankfully for all associated with the club, Nicolas Pepe’s spot-kick inside the closing twenty minutes kept Arsenal very much in the tie ahead of next week’s 2nd-leg, but, all told, the north Londoners were lucky not to have seen their campaign essentially ended in the east of Spain on Thursday.

‘Expected to leave’

In turn, speaking during his post-match interview, it came as little surprise when Mikel Arteta was drawn on Ceballos’ foolish dismissal.

Calls had mounted for the midfielder to be withdrawn in the buildup to his 2nd booking, with Arteta having confirmed that, after coming to the realisation that Ceballos had not heeded his half-time warning, a change was being readied:

‘I haven’t seen the action again [but] obviously we talked at half time that you have to be careful.’

‘I was going to take him off but by the time Gabi (Gabriel Martinelli) was ready to come on that action happened and he was out.’

In the aftermath of their side’s miraculous escape last night, many an Arsenal fan, in turn, have since made clear their feelings that Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid should not be made permanent this summer.

And, if the latest word stemming from the media is anything to go by, then such supporters need not fret.

As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the decision for Ceballos to return to the Spanish capital was made ‘weeks ago’, with a future in north London beyond the end of the season having seemingly been ruled out:

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Kane, HarryTottenham Hotspur FC21
Salah, MohamedLiverpool FC20
Fernandes, BrunoManchester United FC16
Son, Heung MinTottenham Hotspur FC15
Bamford, PatrickLeeds United14
Calvert-Lewin, DominicEverton FC14
Vardy, JamieLeicester City FC13
Lacazette, AlexandreArsenal FC13
Watkins, OllieAston Villa FC12
Gundogan, IlkayManchester City FC12
Rashford, MarcusManchester United FC10
Wilson, CallumNewcastle United FC10
Ings, DannySouthampton FC10
Wood, ChrisBurnley FC10
Zaha, WilfriedCrystal Palace FC10
Iheanacho, KelechiLeicester City FC10
Sterling, RaheemManchester City FC9
Pereira, MatheusWest Bromwich Albion9
Mahrez, RiyadManchester City FC9
Barnes, HarveyLeicester City FC9