Dani Ceballos has opened up on his move back to Arsenal, revealing the “happiness” he experienced playing under Gunners boss Mikel Arteta played a big role in him deciding to return to the club.
The Spain international returned to the Emirates in September on a season-long loan from Spanish champions Real Madrid.
Prior to his return to north London, it was unclear if Ceballos – who Real wanted to offload permanently – would be back for the 2020-21 season.
But after the midfielder had a heartfelt and frank conversation with the Real brass, Los Blancos granted his wish to return to the current FA Cup holders for another season.
“I spoke with Madrid to say that Arteta wanted me to come back,” Ceballos said of his return to north London.
They asked me to wait, but I was clear that I wanted to return to my club, where I had found myself very well.
“You sit down to appreciate that the Euros and the Olympic Games are coming and you know that you have to play an important role in my team.
“With Mikel, I found happiness as a player and as a person. And that is key for a player.”
Ceballos was one of the shining lights in an otherwise dull 2019-20 season for the Gunners, who ended he campaign in eighth place.
Arteta was over the moon to have re-acquired his fellow countryman’s services for another season, saying: “Dani was an integral part of our team last season.
“I love Dani’s passion and commitment and he’s a highly skilful player. We’re all delighted to welcome him back and we look forward to seeing him pick up where he left off.”
Ceballos and his Arsenal team-mates will be back in action on Saturday week, travelling to the Etihad Stadium to take on fellow title hopefuls Manchester City.