Dani Ceballos has credited Hector Bellerin for convincing him to go on loan to Arsenal from Real Madrid for the 2019-20 season.
Speaking to Arsenal's official website following his move to the Emirates Stadium, Ceballos said his fellow Spaniard was instrumental in persuading him to switch Madrid for north London:
"Well, as you know there are Spanish players here like Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin. I get on really well with Hector away from football, on a personal level. I told him I was thinking of joining and he told me not to think twice because this is a great city and a great club and that I was going to have a great time. I can’t wait to see him and say thanks for his help in getting me here."
Bellerin has been out of action since January with a knee injury and is expected to miss "several weeks" of the new campaign.
But he should be able to link up with Ceballos in an Arsenal shirt before the end of the year.
Ceballos also said that head coach Unai Emery played a key role in the move, outlining how he believes he can improve under his compatriot:
"I'm really proud to be able to wear this shirt. I'm joining a historic Premier League side and It's a step forward in my career. ... The coach was a turning point in terms of me joining this massive club. He's a Spanish coach and he knows me from my time at other clubs. ... He's a very tactical coach and I think that's going to really help me to perfect my positioning. I think we're both going to try our best to make me a better player."
Emery was in charge at Sevilla between 2013 and 2016 when Ceballos was at Real Betis.
Ceballos moved to Madrid in 2017 in a deal worth €18 million, but he has failed to secure a regular starting spot.
The 22-year-old has made 35 La Liga appearances in his two seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, with 18 of them coming from the bench.
Emery reportedly made assurances to Ceballos that he will be a key part of the Arsenal side in 2019-20:
He should be a fine replacement in the centre of midfield for Aaron Ramsey, who left Arsenal to join Juventus in July.
Ceballos played a key role for Spain earlier this summer as they won the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, showing the multiple skills he boasts in the middle of the park.
He has a superb passing range, which should see him fit well in Arsenal's side, and he is also defensively astute:
Ted Knutson @mixedknuts
Yes, he's been playing on a "superteam" but Madrid were A MESS this past season. I hope to hell Arsenal get a reasonable Buy clause on him, because there's a good chance he's really really good and the right age. (Obv preferred Tanguy, but that ship sailed on into the night.) https://t.co/Lted4rt2gY
Emery's debut season at Arsenal ended in a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League and a runners-up spot in the UEFA Europa League.
He will be hoping for improvement next season after a second summer making additions to his team.
Ceballos should have a key role to play as Arsenal aim to break back into the Premier League's top four, and the Spaniard is clearly eager to impress under his new coach.