Dani Ceballos on Real Madrid-Arsenal Loan Move: 'I'm Where I Want to Be'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Dani Ceballos of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and AFC Bournemouth  at Emirates Stadium on October 6, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Dani Ceballos has said he was keen to leave Real Madrid in the summer and is happy to be at Arsenal on loan. 

The Spain international struggled to make an impression at the Santiago Bernabeu after signing from Real Betis in 2017. In the summer, Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane sanctioned the player's temporary move to Arsenal, where he has impressed in spells.

Ceballos is part of the Spain squad for the upcoming UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying matches against Norway and Sweden. Speaking ahead of those games, he said he's pleased to have got out of the Spanish capital, per Marca.

"It was clear I wanted to leave," he said. "I've been successful in leaving, now I'm where I want to be and I'm very happy. My idea was to leave, play and enjoy football. In the previous two years I hadn't done that"

Ceballos was regarded as one of the best prospects in Spanish football when he made the move to Real Madrid, having shone at Betis and for his country's under-21 side. In 2017, he was named as Player of the Tournament at the UEFA Under-21 European Championship.

However, he failed to force his way into the team on a regular basis in either of Zidane's spells in charge, as well as during the short tenures of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari.

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At Arsenal, Ceballos excited plenty with his first outing at the Emirates Stadium in a victory over Burnley:

In the recent win over Standard Liege in the UEFA Europa League, the midfielder got on the scoresheet for the first time as an Arsenal player:

After losing Aaron Ramsey to Juventus on a free transfer in the summer, Arsenal needed to add an attack-minded midfielder to their squad, and Ceballos has the potential to be a smart acquisition

The former Betis man is technically excellent and can dribble past opponents in central areas and find team-mates with incisive passes. In addition, the playmaker has the aggression and tenacity to cope with the physical nature of English football.

Arsenal fan Jonny Singer commented on how well Ceballos uses the ball and said he should be a mainstay in the team as a result:

Football writer Zach Lowy recently said he's been left confused by the midfield setups being fielded by Emery:

Ceballos has only started five of Arsenal's eight Premier League games this season. Having been left on the bench for the showdown with United at Old Trafford, there's an indication that Emery doesn't totally trust the Spain star in the biggest matches yet.

Nevertheless, the signs have been positive so far for Arsenal and the player. These latest quotes will put a smile on the face of those who frequent the Emirates Stadium, although there's no option in the loan agreement with Real Madrid to make the transfer a permanent one.