The midfielder says he has had a “bad time” at Emirates Stadium this season and that his style of play is better suited to the Spanish top-flight
Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos has said it “would be difficult” for him to extend his stay at Arsenal, admitting that he likes La Liga “a lot more” than the Premier League.
Ceballos joined Arsenal on a season-long loan from Madrid in the summer of 2019, with the agreement renewed for an extra year following his impressive first campaign in England.
However, the 24-year-old has struggled to reach the same high standards in 2020-21 and feels that a return to Spain would be best for him to rediscover his form.
What’s been said?
“I’ve had a bad time because I didn’t have the consistency I had last year,” Ceballos told Zero Wave ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final tie against Villarreal on Thursday. “These last 5 or 6 games I’ve played at a good level.
“To be honest I like La Liga a lot more. The Premier League is more complete but with my style, La Liga is much better for me.
“Another loan would be difficult from both sides, for Real Madrid and for me.”
The Spain international went on to reveal that he is open to taking in a second spell at Real Betis, where he spent six years before being snapped up by Madrid in 2017.
“I’m about to turn 25 in August and I have to settle at a club where I feel important, that’s what I’ll look for,” he added. “I have a lot of affection for Betis, I’m a Betis fan, I watch every Betis game, [Manuel] Pellegrini is a really good coach who I like.”
The bigger picture
Ceballos was one of the first names on Mikel Arteta’s team-sheet last term, but the summer arrivals of Willian and Thomas Partey saw him fall down the pecking order.
The Madrid loanee has only started 15 of Arsenal’s 33 Premier League gamesthis season and has yet to record a single goal or assist.
Competition for places in the Gunners’ midfield will likely increase later in the year too, with the club set to back Arteta in the transfer market as he seeks to transform the team into an elite European force once again.
Ceballos still has two years left to run on his contract with Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane also has a plethora of options meaning a return to Real Betis could suit all parties.