Dani Ceballos finds himself at a crucial stage of his career. He finds himself at a crossroads where he will have an important decision. His Arsenal career has seen a fair share of ups and downs, but no one knows whether his stint will be made permanent or not. But the option of potentially joining Juventus can help him open up new possibilities in his career.
His period at Arsenal had begun in uncertainty. Unai Emery had used him in multiple positions and he had often thrived, coming up with an impressive performance against Burnley. Around the period of Emery’s sacking, the same time that leading online bookmaker Willam Hill Lucky 7 ruled Arsenal out of qualifying for the Champions League, he got injured and was even missing from a fair few games under Mikel Arteta.
There was a period when his training had come into question. But after impressive Arteta in a defensive midfield role against Newcastle, the former Gunners skipper lavished praised on him.
Arteta said: “Dani Ceballos is a good example. He was injured and when he started to train I didn’t think he was fit enough. He completely changed his behaviour and trained like an animal. I thought he was the best player on the pitch.”
And Ceballos has indeed become pivotal to Arteta’s system. He’s become a regular in a defensive midfield role and has proved key in keeping play ticking and using his technicality on the ball to very good effect.
The 23-year-old’s performance against West Ham, for example, stands out. In defensive midfield, the Spaniard won five tackles and had a 100 percent tackling accuracy. He played as many as 86 passes and was immense in Arteta’s possession-based system. And that should ring bells for Maurizio Sarri’s Juve.
The campaign has been a strange one for the bianconeri. They’ve had to scrape through against smaller clubs like Verona, SPAL, Brescia, Bologna and Genoa. As a result, they’ve relied on individual quality as the team has sometimes failed to settle into Sarri’s technical system. The midfield has taken stick for not moving the ball quickly enough, leading to it looking more like Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus.
There is uncertainty about Miralem Pjanic’s future, as his anchor-man role was taken away by Rodrigo Bentancur. There is a feeling that Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi aren’t the best options for that system due to their lack of technical ability. While Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey came in for free, the former Paris Saint-Germain man’s fitness hasn’t been good enough.
It shows why Ceballos would fit right in at Juventus. They play a brand of football that suits the Spaniard because of his technical ability. As per Wyscout, the former Real Betis man makes 2.41 progressive runs per 90 minutes and 60 percent of his passes are into the final third. It shows how economical he is when it comes to using possession in an effective manner.
The recent spell at Arsenal shows that unlike Pjanic, he’s a good ball-winner too. Pjanic has been dribbled past 1.5 times per 90 minutes and has won only 1.7 tackles per 90 minutes. Ceballos’ performances at Arsenal show that in a possession-based system, he can do better.
And considering the Spaniard is still 23, he can take his time to settle in Italy. He’s versatile and has played in multiple midfield roles before. He will understand the system better than many and this will reduce the burden on Sarri to get another player introduced to his style.
All in all, it will be a wise move for both parties. They will get exactly what they want to further their paths.