Dani Ceballos, 20 years of age, Spanish and what a right foot he has. Although of his young age he is a key player for the Betis side this year. He is one of the main reasons why they are able to play attractive technical football apart from their financial opportunities.
Having made his debut for the Andalusian side at the age of 17 in the 2013/17 season, he was able grow with Real Betis Sevilla and their way back into La Liga constantly after going down in his debut season. Regarding his exceptional talent he might have been able to go the easy way and transfer to another, better club. However Ceballos decided to develop patiently in Sevilla and that is paying off now. After already featuring in 34 La Liga games last year he is the creative playmaker of this years’ Betis team. Although the stats around goals and assists might not demonstrate that he is vital to Betis’ fast vertical counter style of play.
Against Valencia FC he played as the left midfielder in a 5-3-2 formation against the bats 4-2-3-1. As we used to see him he started into this game as confident as throughout the season – very active (total of 84 touches – most of his team), able to solve tight situations with a neat dribble and with a good overview enabling him to play well thought passes to open up the pitch or to trigger danger with lineal balls through the oppositions’ lines.
Ceballos did not only look sharp offensively but also did his job defensively often forced to go long ways, resulting out of the nature of the played system, to fill gaps or even to track overlapping runs on the left side of Valencia’s Montoya. Sometimes due to the low number of players in Betis’ midfield he could not get into duels which made him look a bit lost in space and made the impression of him only reacting instead of anticipating the opponent’s play. When able to get into duels he was aggressive as already seen in previous matches e.g. against Barcelona and forced ball turnovers. He made the most successful tackles in his team – level with Ruben Pardo. His aggressive ball chasing can bee seen in the VIDEO below. 👇🏻
Throughout the game he made good decisions on the ball only lacking luck in the final third. For example in the 18th minute he was able to solve a complicated situation calmly with a good dribble leading to a big chance.
In minute 39 he showed his brilliant right foot with a well paced cross. 👇🏻
Just two minute later he probably should have received a penalty after a brilliant dribbling on Valencia’s penalty box. 👇🏻
In the second half Betis got a bit tired and could create less chances. Ceballos had another highlight in the 69th minute with a perfectly weighted pass through.
In total it is impressive how Dani Ceballos is able to solve situations with his technical abilities whether it is with a dribbling or a pass. He is very confident on the ball and has a good understanding of the game. He is superb in taking up the pace when appropriate but also understands to calm the game down when necessary. All his attributes should alert the European top teams although he has a running contract until 2020. However he seems to be worth an investment.