Mikel Arteta has urged Dani Ceballos to ‘fight for his place’ at Arsenal, amid speculation the midfielder wants to cut short his loan spell and return to Real Madrid.
The Spain international arrived at Arsenal on a season-long loan deal last summer, and having started brightly, he has struggled of late following number injury problems and is yet to feature since Arteta’s arrival as new head coach last month.
According to Sky Sports, the 23-year-old wants to bring his loan spell at the Emirates to an end as he seeks regular first-team football, the midfielder keen to secure minutes in a bid to make the Spain squad for next summer’s European Championships.
Having been sidelined since November after picking up an injury in a Europa League game against Vitoria, Ceballos has now returned to full training, with Arteta urging his compatriot to focus on forcing his way into his plans.
👋 Dani Ceballos' loan at Arsenal could already be coming to an end…
It’s a good thing Arsenal fans never hyped him up after one game 👀🤣 pic.twitter.com/jGc3muOgjP
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) January 23, 2020
“When I joined the club he was having his rehabilitation in Madrid for a month so 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 and cannot do with him.
“I heard of all of those things [speculation about a move] but I don’t have a comment.
“He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place. After that, I will make the selection that I feel is best for the team.”
Despite being linked with a host of names this month, Arsenal are yet to secure any new additions as they bid to bolster their squad ahead of the remainder of the season.
Ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round clash at Bournemouth, Arteta typically refused to comment on any potential transfer speculation.
“I’m not going to be discussing any transfer links publicly, it’s something we talk about internally. When we have some news we will share it with you guys.”