Dani Ceballos, who joined Arsenal from Real Madrid on a season-long loan last summer, gave an interview to Spanish newspaper Marca recently and spoke mostly about his time with Arsenal.
It hasn’t been going very well for the midfielder in North London. He started seven of the opening 11 Premier League games and was introduced from the bench in the other four, before suffering a torn muscle bundle which kept him out of action for the following nine. He returned to the bench for the win over Manchester United on New Year’s Day, and he hasn’t played since.
Naturally, he was asked about the injury and explained how he had told Unai Emery that he wanted to play every game as long as his body allowed him to. He was playing against Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal in the Europa League when it happened; it was his 17th game in two months.
Arsenal and Real Madrid had agreed that the best thing for him at that moment was to return to the Spanish capital for treatment and the initial recovery period, where he would feel more comfortable for language reasons as much as the fact that Real’s medical staff knew him better than that of Arsenal. He spent a month and a half there, before returning to England where he’s been working on building up his fitness again. While in Madrid, he spoke to Los Blancos president Florentino Perez who was very supportive, and to head coach Zinedine Zidane who told him he was following Arsenal’s games closely and that he was proud of him.
Back in England, Ceballos is working hard on his English and he believes he has learned a lot. Though Emery was the one who brought him to the Emirates, he feels that Mikel Arteta has learned a lot from Pep Guardiola and is quite capable of becoming a great coach in his own right. Mentally, Ceballos says Arteta already is exactly the kind of coach the Gunners need right now.
The 23-year-old expressed his frustration with not being able to help the team at a time their struggles were obvious due to the injury, but he wan’t to pick up his game for the rest of the season and hopes to get chosen for the Spain squad for Euro 2020.