There is one big obstacle that Dani Ceballos must overcome to remain at Arsenal
There are actually multiple reasons that the Spaniard may return to Real Madrid at the end of his loan spell but there is one sure way of ensuring he heads back home. Lack of playing time.
Ceballos is far from an automatic starter for Arsenal, he is in a mix of players fighting for just a couple of spots.
If we assume that the front three will generally be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe we can then exclude Ceballos as a forward.
Midfield is the most likely area the 23-year-old will be deployed and there are in reality, just two places up for grabs.
Granit Xhaka at this time is a certain starter and Matteo Guendouzi is fast becoming an Emery favourite. So. in all reality there is just the one spot free and multiple players vying for the place. Joe Willock and Lucas Torreira are both right in the mix and competition is fierce.
Emery likes to mix his selections up but even then it means that opportunities are limited even further. Ceballos just cannot be sure of regular first team football.
He has started five of eight Premier League matches and been a sub in the other three but at the same time, he has been substituted every time he starts.
Maybe as time goes on Ceballos will establish himself as an automatic starter but if he does not then converting his loan into a permanent deal will be so much more difficult. I mean, if you were Ceballos would you want to sign permenently when you are not a regular starter?