Arsenal’s hopes of securing Dani Ceballos on a permanent basis have been dealt a blow after the midfielder confirmed his intention to return to Real Madrid.
The Spain international has made a big impact since his summer arrival at Arsenal, with the midfielder this week expressing his ‘happiness’ at securing regular first-team football at the club since moving to the Emirates on a season-long loan deal.
The 23-year-old’s comments raised hopes that Arsenal would be able to persuade Ceballos to move to the Premier League on a permanent basis, however, he has now claimed his words were ‘misunderstood’ and that a lack of playing time was the reason for his frustration in the Spanish capital.
Asked about not enjoying his time at Real, Ceballos clarified to Radio MARCA: “My words were misunderstood. [What I meant to say, was] When I do not play, I don’t enjoy myself.
“I have learnt a lot in these two years at Real Madrid, but now I am enjoying [my football].
“I don't feel sorry for not being in Madrid. I didn't play and I couldn’t enjoy football. Going to Arsenal has been a very important step in my career.”
– Dani Ceballos pic.twitter.com/3f5jtSDiSZ
— DailyAFC (@DailyAFC) October 8, 2019
“I knew that it was an important year, the coach [for Spain, Robert Moreno] has doubts and the one who doesn’t play isn’t going to be called up; it was a good time to go out on loan.
“With [Unai] Emery’s confidence, I may have a chance of going to the Euros.”
Despite opting to leave the Spanish giants in search of regular opportunities this season, Ceballos insists he never thought about leaving Real on a permanent basis and that his ambition remains to succeed at the Bernabeu.
“I never thought of leaving permanently. My goal is to succeed at Real Madrid. I’m going to fight to fulfil my dream,” he added.
“A player is not happy if he doesn’t play, but when he feels important and does, then he is happy.
“Obviously I have been at Real Madrid, I have learnt from the best and I have won trophies, but it is easier when you play matches. I’m happy and I feel important [at Arsenal], with room for improvement to play at the Euros next year.”