Mikel Arteta played a key role in convincing Arsenal’s hierarchy to re-sign Dani Ceballos on loan, according to reports in Spain.
Ceballos spent last season on loan with the Gunners and played a key role in Mikel Arteta’s midfield once the campaign restarted after lockdown.
The midfielder, who helped Arsenal win the FA Cup at the end of last term, returned to Real Madrid in the summer but quickly discovered that he was not part of Zinedine Zidane’s first-team plans once again.
Arsenal were keen to re-sign Ceballos on a loan deal which included an option to buy, but Real Madrid were unwilling to agree to the Gunners’ proposal.
According to Marca, Arteta was so concerned about potentially missing out on signing Ceballos that he intervened and convinced Arsenal’s hierarchy to agree to a loan deal on Madrid’s terms.
Ceballos, meanwhile, revealed this week that he had already told Arteta before returning to Madrid that he was keen on extending his stay at Arsenal.
‘People always say the first year is one of transition, but after the lockdown we saw the Dani Ceballos we all wanted, with the arrival of Mikel, we know the team improved,’ said Ceballos.
‘I found a position which isn’t usual for me, a bit more defensive. The Premier League takes you to the limit both physically and technically. I think I’ve improved a lot over the last six months.
‘After the season I spoke to Jose Angel Sanchez [Madrid’s CEO] and I told him I’d spoken to Mikel about staying at Arsenal, they told me to wait for a month for the team come back and take a decision, but my idea was clear to return to my club where I’d ended well with the boss’s confidence.
‘When a player is totally happy, personally and footballistically, you find the right position on and off the pitch. I decided to stay for another year.
‘I was totally happy, and I could develop my game in a totally natural way.’