Mikel Arteta confessed he was shocked to see two of his Arsenal charges scrapping with each other ahead of last week’s victory over Fulham.
The pair almost came to blows and had to be separated after the Spaniard, who has only recently returned to the north London club on loan from Real Madrid, went in late on the England Under-21 international during a rondo exercise.
After the match, a routine 3-0 victory for the Gunners, Arteta refused to address the incident, claiming he hadn’t seen it.
The notoriously spiky Ceballos, meanwhile, attempted to downplay the suggestion of any lingering bad blood, posting an image of himself standing next to Nketiah accompanied by the caption ‘no problems here my brother’.
Nearly a week on from the flash point, Arteta has had time to reflect and was content with how the altercation was resolved and was happy to see such passion and enthusiasm from two players who started the game at Craven Cottage on the substitutes’ bench.
‘Well, I was surprised first of all because it isn’t a common thing to see at the start!’ said Arteta. ‘To be fair, I didn’t like too much that image in public, but then I understood what happened and I understood how much both of them wanted to play and their level of frustration they were managing.
‘I really liked the way things were resolved, though. First of all between them personally, and then publicly with that picture. It was the end of the story and now we can learn from that and move on.
‘I cannot demand the players all the time to be 100 per cent and pushing, but then to be soft and have a really bad body language during the rondos.
‘If you give me the choice, I don’t want them to kill each other! But it’s okay, it’s not bad!’