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18 Aug 2015

Done Deal: Liverpool agree to sign exciting €12m playmaker who idolises 'Xavi/Iniesta'

The current transfer window is still open for another 12 days, but that isn't stopping Brendan Rodgers from planning for the future, and new reports today suggest that Liverpool have already agreed a deal for next summer.

According to the Daily Express:

"Liverpool have agreed a deal for Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos to join the club next summer".

Radio Sevilla further claims that:

* Liverpool also offered him a house and a car, and that was the deciding factor in Ceballos rejecting Arsenal.

* Ceballos - who has a €12m buyout clause in his contract - will be paid a salary of €1.5m a year.

Some info about 19-year old Ceballos:

* Central midfielder, who can also play on the right, or as an attacking midfielder.

* 15 apps for various Spain youth teams.

* Last season: 10 goals/assists in 36 appearances for Real Betis B.

* 2015: UEFA European Under-19 Championship winner with Spain.

* According to Marca: "Ceballos is the most exciting youth prospect to emerge at Betis since Joaquín".

* Marca's assessment of Ceballos: "Versatile midfielder, equally at home in a holding role, on the left of a midfield three/five or even as a playmaker. Eye for a killer pass {and] the ability to ghost into the box from deep".

Real Betis are desperate to keep Ceballos, and in July, Sporting Director Eduardo Macia told reporters:

"The board have made an offer to the player [Ceballos] and his camp, a very significant new deal. Until June 2016, Dani Ceballos is a Betis player"

* In May, Ceballos told "Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta have always been my role models"

Betis coach Pepe Mel has also urged Ceballos to stay at Betis, and when asked in July about the youngster's future, he told Marca:

"Ceballos should be in no hurry to go to one of the 'big' teams. The best thing that can happen for him is to stay and develop at Betis"

Ceballos has also been advised to stay at Betis by Rafael Van Der Vaart, who signed for the Spanish club this summer. In a recent interview, he described Ceballos as 'excellent', but added:

"When I was 19 I was at Ajax and I knew I wanted to stay there. To play is very important, and it's good to develop for two or three years in a good league, so I hope he [Ceballos} stays here with us".

Mel and Van Der Vaart are absolutely right. Where's the fire? Ceballos is 19, and has achieved absolutely nothing in the game, and moving to a big club right now will probably stunt his development.

Ceballos may sign for Liverpool next summer, but by then, he'll still only be 20, and there's little chance of him becoming a first-team regular ahead of Henderson, Milner, Can, and whoever else Rodgers signs over the next year.

As such, it's arguably a mistake for Ceballos to leave Betis next year. At the bare minimum, he should stay for another two years and continue his development.

If Ceballos is that good, big clubs will come calling every year, so there's real need to rush things. As usual, though, money talks, and if Ceballos priorities a house and a car over personal development, then that tells you everything you need to know about the player (IMO).

Author: Jaimie K


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