Arsenal’s hopes of signing transfer target Martin Odegaard could potentially have been handed another serious blow ironically by fellow former Gunner Dani Ceballos.
Both Real Madrid midfielders spent time on-loan at the Emirates Stadium last season, the Spaniard having been brought back following a successful year in north London, whilst Odegaard followed for the second-half of the 2020/21 campaign.
The latter certainly caught the eye more having established himself as a key player in the centre of the park in his 20 appearances across all competitions.
His performances led to suggestions that Mikel Arteta could look to bring him back to the Emirates Stadium and football.london understands he is one of a number of options being considered for the creative midfield role alongside Leicester City’s James Maddison.
A club statement read: “Following tests carried out on our player Dani Ceballos by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a complete tear in his anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ankle ligaments.
“His recovery will continue to be assessed.”
Whilst it remains to be seen how long the Spaniard will be restricted to the sidelines, Real could make the decision to keep Odegaard throughout his recovery.
With German midfielder Toni Kroos also out and Luka Modric the wrong side of 30, this leaves Carlo Ancelotti’s options limited.
Only Casemiro, Fede Valverde and Isco are the remaining back-up, so the Italian will surely want to relieve the strain on his central midfielders.
Retaining Odegaard will certainly assist in doing that but will also all-but end Arsenal’s hopes of bringing him back to the Emirates Stadium for a second spell.
He still has two years left to run on his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.