Real Madrid’s Julen Lopetegui Reportedly Sees Dani Ceballos as a Vital Player Ahead of Next Season

​Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has confirmed that youngster Dani Ceballos will play a more important role for the Spanish giants next season.

The talented Spaniard is highly regarded, but only featured 12 times in Real’s La Liga campaign in the 2017/18 season, playing an average of just 33 minutes across those games.

Real Madrid v Leganes - La Liga

Things appear to be looking up for Ceballos though, with the arrival of Lopetegui appearing to signal a turnaround in the Spaniard’s fortunes. 

The new manager is well aware of Ceballos’ talent, given the youngster played under him when he was coaching Spain’s Under-21 side.

Whilst his tenure as Spain boss may have ended controversially, Lopetegui appears to be well underway in his preparations for the new season as Real boss, with Ceballos one of the main players set to benefit from his leadership.

It does however appear that Real are resigned to losing Mateo Kovacic this summer. The Croatian signed for Real from Inter in a deal worth €22m in the summer of 2015, but has struggled to hold down a consistent starting spot in the Madrid first team.

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Whilst no offers have yet been tabled for the midfielder, opportunities for game time could be limited once again next season, with the world class pairing of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos still dominating the Real midfield. With more chances also being afforded to Ceballos, it seems that Kovacic could be on his way.