Football

Dani Ceballos makes U-turn over Arsenal future and vows to earn starting spot under Mikel Arteta


The midfielder had been exploring a return to Spain this month (Picture: Getty)

Dani Ceballos will remain at Arsenal until the end of the season with the midfielder ready to fight for his place in the starting XI after speaking to head coach Mikel Arteta.

The Real Madrid loanee had reportedly become unhappy with his lack of game time at Arsenal, having not played in the Premier League since the start of November, and was looking to terminate his loan and return to Spain.

Valencia were one of several clubs who had made tentative enquiries, but the Gunners did not want to weaken their midfield options halfway through the season without getting a replacement.

The midfielder played 21 minutes off the bench against Bournemouth on Monday (Picture: Getty)

Ceballos held talks with Arteta about his role and, after initially feeling there was not enough clarity over how he could win back his place, AS now report that he is willing to stick around and earn his manager’s trust.

The appearance he was handed against Bournemouth in the FA Cup boosted his morale and he feels confident that he can reverse his situation and become an important player for Arteta.

Ceballos feels game time is paramount in the second half of the season and he is eager for a regular run of games to make sure he is in Spain’s squad for next summer’s European Championships.

Arsenal held a training session at the Emirates on Wednesday and Ceballos hinted at his change in mood, posting a picture on social media saying: ‘Fight until the end. Let’s go Arsenal!’

Speaking about his sit-down with Ceballos, Arteta revealed last week: ‘I had a conversation with Dani. When I joined the club he wasn’t here, he was in Madrid because he was doing his rehab for over a month in Madrid – the team that owns him.

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‘And then when I came here he was doing his rehab for the first two or three weeks, he was getting back to fitness.

‘I haven’t seen much of him because he only trained with us a week or 10 days. So it’s very early to assess what I can do or cannot do with him. I heard about all those things but I have nothing to comment.’

Asked what Ceballos needed to do to be part of Arteta’s plans, the Spanish coach added: ‘He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place like any other teammate. And after that we will make the selection that I think is fair with what I see on the pitch.’

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