‘I wanted to return to my club’: Dani Ceballos reveals his priority was always to return to Arsenal with Spain midfielder completing loan move from Real Madrid for a second season running in the summer
- Arsenal are covering Dani Ceballos’ wages but did not pay a fee to Real Madrid
- The Spain midfielder blossomed in Mikel Arteta’s side at the end of last season
- The Gunners boss was also keen for the 24-year-old to return for another year
- And despite Real’s insistence that he wait a month, Ceballos forced their hand
Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has claimed he always had the intention of returning to the club in the summer.
The 24-year-old completed a loan move to the Gunners from Real Madrid for a second consecutive summer transfer window last month, with the North London club covering his wages but not paying a loan fee for the deal.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was also keen for the Spain international to spend another season at Emirates Stadium after he blossomed in his side on their way to FA Cup glory last season.
Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos insists his priority was to return to the club in the summer
Ceballos had a great end to his loan spell last season and helped the Gunners lift the FA Cup
And despite Real’s insistence for him to wait a month before making a final decision on where he would ply his trade this season, Ceballos forced his parent club’s hand ahead of a potentially busy summer for the player on the international scene in 2021.
‘I spoke with Madrid to say that Arteta wanted me to come back. They asked me to wait a month, but I was clear that I wanted to return to my club, where I had found my best level,’ Ceballos told a press conference ahead of Spain’s Nations League fixture against Switzerland on Saturday.
‘You sit down to appreciate that the Euros and the Olympics are coming and you know that you have to play an important role in my (national) team.
‘With Mikel I found happiness as a player and as a person. And that is key for a player.’
Mikel Arteta was also keen for Ceballos to return for another year and got his wish last month
He was unlikely to play for Real Madrid due to his frosty relationship with Zinedine Zidane
It had appeared increasingly unlikely in the summer that he would force his way back into Zinedine Zidane’s first-team squad despite his successful loan period in the Premier League, partly due to his reported frosty relationship with the Frenchman.
Ceballos featured in just two LaLiga games after Zidane’s return to Madrid in March 2019 before Unai Emery’s Arsenal came knocking a few months later.
He then put a disappointing start to life at Arsenal to enjoy a strong finish to the 2019/20 campaign as he helped the club win their first silverware since 2017.
He has now made a total of 43 appearances for the club, and has started all but one of Arsenal’s top-flight games this season, with his impressive displays earning him a call-up to the latest Spain squad under Luis Enrique.
Ceballos has started the season well and has started all but one Premier League game so far
His form led to a Spain recall and he played against Renato Sanches’ Portugal on Wednesday
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