Premier League

Dani Ceballos: Arsenal midfielder back in the team and back to his best against West Brom

Amid rumours Real Madrid are unhappy with his lack of game time, Dani Ceballos impressed for the Gunners as their revival continued.

 
9:11am on Sunday 3rd January 2021
By
Chris Myson

Arsenal continued their recent revival with an impressive 4-0 away win over West Brom on Saturday.

Midfielder Dani Ceballos was back in their Premier League team for the first time since the loss to Everton last month.

That came after reports suggested parent club Real Madrid were unhappy with his lack of game-time with the Gunners and tempted to recall him before loaning him out elsewhere, with top clubs in Serie A interested.

The data suggests Ceballos made the most of his chance to shine against the Baggies.

📷 Dani Ceballos: Match Snapshot

Ceballos was named as a defensive midfielder alongside Granit Xhaka as manager Mikel Arteta retained a 4-2-3-1 formation.

He played the full 90 minutes as impressive first-half goals from Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka put Arsenal in control.

⏱️ 55’ Ceballos lofted an excellent pass over the top for Alexandre Lacazette to rush on to and the striker beat goalkeeper Sam Johnstone from a tight angle only to see his shot hacked away from the line. It was one of three key passes for Ceballos on the night.

Lacazette was not to be denied, though, scoring twice in quick succession to seal the victory.

〽️ Ceballos: Rating Week-on-Week

IMPROVEMENT

Ceballos won seven of his nine duels, had seven recoveries and a game-high five interceptions.

He completed 86% of his 64 passes, 19 of which were in the final third, and was constantly involved with 82 touches of the ball.

Along with his three created chances, it all worked out at an 8.4 FC Rating for Ceballos.

That is a marked improvement on the still respectable 6.7 FC Rating he recorded in the December defeat to Everton.

🗝️ Key Stats

Dani Ceballos
M, DM (C) - Arsenal - 24 yrs
90'
8.4
Jan 2, 2021
90Minutes played
5Interceptions
19Final third passes
7Duels won
3Tackles won
7Ball recovered
82Touches
86Successfull passes %

Ceballos: What Next?

Playing as a defensive midfielder seems to be the best way to get top performances from Ceballos.

Our data shows that in his last 50 matches, he played 11 in that role and averages a 7.4 FC Rating – better than he has fared in any other position.

Playing slightly up the pitch in central midfield, for example, he averages 6.9 from 24 appearances there.

A deeper role seems to allow Ceballos to showcase his competitive nature and win back possession, as well as ensuring he sees plenty of the ball and still has the opportunity to pick out passes and create opportunities for his team-mates.

With Xhaka and Mohamed El Neny playing regularly, with Thomas Partey soon to return from injury, there is plenty of competition for places.

Ceballos, though, has given Arteta plenty to think about as both men fight for their Arsenal futures.

Dani Ceballos: Player Statistics, Career Stats and Position

West Brom 0-4 Arsenal: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

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