Arsenal face battle for key midfield target

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Arsenal brought in Dani Ceballos on loan and he has had a major impact on proceedings in north London.

The midfielder was signed on a short-term deal from Real Madrid last summer and has become something of an integral cog in Mikel Arteta’s Gunners machine.

Indeed, he has started all of the past nine games, including all of the six that have followed the beginning of Project Restart.

A calm, unflappable central midfielder, his presence in the centre of the pitch has allowed those around him to thrive.

Indeed, while he only has two assists to his name this season, he has averaged a pass completion rate of 87.9% and 1.2 key passes per game, per WhoScored.

He is a metronomic presence and he also makes 1.8 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game in the Premier League.

It is perhaps little surprise, then, that Arsenal want to sign him on a permanent basis but they are not alone in the race.

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Indeed, Sport Witness carry a report from Estadio Deportivo, claiming that the Gunners are “desperate” to keep him at the Emirates Stadium.

However, the report claims that Real Betis are also interested, and are currently “preparing the ground” for a permanent move this summer.

Ceballos, of course, spent three years at Betis between 2014 and 2017 before his move to Madrid, and the club are hopeful of engineering his return in the next transfer window.

It may ultimately come down to the player, then, though the Gunners do not look prepared to give up without a fight.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This is an intriguing battle.

Ceballos has emerged as an important player for Arsenal and they are clearly a bigger club than Betis.

But the heart can often rule the head and the prospect of a return to Betis, where he began his professional career, could be too good to turn down.

Ceballos is valued at £28.8 million by Transfermarkt and it may ultimately come down to whether or not each club can match his asking price.

Arsenal certainly have a battle on their hands, though.

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