‘Arsenal put faith in me and I can’t let them down’: Dani Ceballos desperate to repay Gunners after injury hell… as Real Madrid loanee reveals fans song convinced him to stay at the Emirates
- Dani Ceballos has opened up about his loan move to Arsenal from Real Madrid
- Ceballos says he is grateful for Arsenal taking a chance on him last summer
- The midfielder wants to repay the club and the fans who have a song for him
- The 23-year-old also believes Mikel Arteta can achieve success as Arsenal boss
Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos says he wants to pay back the club for the faith they showed in him in the summer by adding his weight to a late push for a Champions League place.
The 23-year-old told Marca: ‘Arsenal took a chance on me and I want to pay them back that faith with hard work and turning the situation around.
‘If I do it, then it will mean even more because I have come back to help the team after injury. It will be a better outcome than to have taken the cowardly decision to walk away and leave the team in the lurch. Arsenal put faith in me and I can’t let them down.’
Dani Ceballos is enjoying life in London playing for Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid
Ceballos has become a bit hit in the dressing room and also with the Arsenal supporters
The Spain midfielder has not given up on the club making it into the Champions League places. He said: ‘There are 13 games left and we are still alive. In this Premier League you win three games and you’re right back up there.
‘We are 10 points from the Champions League places and now is the time for everyone to row in the same direction and achieve the objectives of the season.
‘On a personal level I have just come back from a serious injury. It’s the first one I have had since turning professional.
Spanish newspaper Marca have focused on his time at Arsenal away from the focus of Madrid
Ceballos believes Mikel Arteta is the right man to lead Arsenal forward after a tough period
‘My tendon was affected and the doctors told me that it was unusual and that I had to take real care.
‘I’ve been taken it carefully because I’ve been afraid of having a set-back. Now I have to get match fit and get back to my best level.’
Ceballos regrets not being able to help Unai Emery, the coach who brought him to England, keep his job.
CEBALLOS PREMIER LEAGUE STATS 19/20
Tackle success: 63 per cent
He said: ‘He is one of the key reasons I’m here. I’m annoyed because I have never been injured before and this happened just as the team was starting to fade a bit.
‘It upset me that I was not able to repay the coach for all that he had done for me.’
But he believes new coach Mikel Arteta is the right man for the club. He said: ‘Mikel is going to be a great coach. He has learned from Pep [Guardiola] and he has a style of play that I think suits me well.
‘It’s true that he has arrived in a difficult moment for the club but he is a coach who, mentally, I think is what Arsenal need right now.
‘Since I’ve returned from injury I have only been working with him about two weeks and now I have to show him that I can play for Arsenal. After the break I am going to be an important player.’
Arteta picked up the injury in Guimarares in Portugal. He says: ‘I think it was because of an excess of games. I had played 17 games in two months; I was the only player who had played all those games.
Ceballos has become known for his high intensity style in the centre of midfield
‘At the time I spoke to Unai [Emery] and said that, while my body allowed me to, I wanted to play all the game. It cost me an injury but you learn from these mistakes.’
Ceballos returned to Madrid for his recuperation. He says the decision was made, in part, because there would be no language barrier with the Madrid physios he already knew from his time at the club.
DANI CEBALLOS SONG LYRICS
‘Dani Ceballos, Dani Ceballos, he drinks Estrella, he eats paella, the boy’s f****** magic’
Despite that preference Ceballos told Marca he is advancing with his English classes. He said: ‘I took the PlayStation with me [to London] but I have practically not switched it on.
‘I’m focused on learning English and I don’t have time for much else. The club set me up with a teacher. And I take four two-hour classes a week. I understand about 80 per cent of English and I talk plenty.’
He would not be drawn on his future at the end of the season. He added: ‘If you like football then you must like the Premier League. Physically it demands a little bit more of you than La Liga. And tactically and technically it is taking huge steps forward. It is very competitive. Who would not want to play in this league at some point of their career?’
The 23-year-old moved to Arsenal on loan from Spanish giants Real at the start of the season
And in the Premier League, with Arsenal, he has found a group of supporters who appreciate his hard work and have a special song for him – one he speaks of fondly.
He added: ‘It seems simple nonsense but Arsenal fans have a song dedicated to me, there are only three or four players on the team who have their song and have been there for many years.
‘I feel very dear, every time I play in the Emirates [snorts] or go out to warm up the fans continuously is always supporting me.’