Dani Ceballos admits Real Madrid wanted to keep him and he was the one pushing for a loan back to Arsenal after finding happiness under Mikel Arteta.

West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna (C) tries to block Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos (R) on September 19, 2020. (Photo by IAN WALTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking on international duty with Spain this week, Dani Ceballos told the story of his summer on the transfer market. After an increasingly positive individual season with Arsenal, Ceballos initially had had to return to Real Madrid when his loan ended.

Mikel Arteta clearly wanted him back, and the midfielder admits he was also keen to return. But Real made him wait, likely scouting the market for other offers. In the end, the Spanish international got the move he was looking for.

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“I spoke with Madrid to say that Arteta wanted me to come back,” Ceballos explained. “They asked me to wait a month, but I was clear that I wanted to return to my club, where I had found my best level.

“With Mikel, I found happiness as a player and as a person. And that is key for a player. When a player is totally happy, personally & footballistically, you find the right position on & off the pitch. I decided to stay for another year.”

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There’s no doubt the European Championships and the Olympics were also key in Ceballos’ thinking. He wants to represent his country on the big stages, and another year of regular football will help.

But it’s another step on the road to becoming a permanent Arsenal player.

If Ceballos continues his development under Arteta and has a strong season, the Gunners are surely likely to try and bring him in for good. By next summer, he’ll have just two years on his Madrid deal.