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Former Arsenal star makes shocking revelation about Mikel Arteta, Unai Emery and the Premier League

Former Arsenal star says he struggled to adapt to the Premier League and wanted to go back to his country.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has opened up into his stint at Arsenal, shedding light on how he struggled to adapt to the demands of the Premier League and his relationship with former manager Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta.

Ceballos joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid for the 2019/20 season when Emery was in charge of the club. His debut against Burnley wowed the fans and he became a fan favourite and he was part of the team that won the Emirates FA Cup in Mikel Arteta’s first season in charge of the club.

He rejoined the club again on loan the following season, but his performance trajectory soon faltered, failing to meet the lofty expectations set early in his Arsenal tenure.

In a candid interview with Universo Valdano in March, Ceballos disclosed the key role Emery played in luring him to Arsenal. Emery’s vision for his second year at Arsenal convinced Ceballos to join the club, despite his initial concerns about the competitive and physically demanding nature of the Premier League.

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Dani Ceballos won the FA Cup with Arsenal in Mikel Arteta’s first season in charge (Image credit: Getty Images)

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Reflecting on his struggles to adapt to the demands of English football, Ceballos admitted, “I saw the rhythm of the competition and I thought, ‘I want to go back to Spain, how long is left to go back.’ It is a very competitive league, very physical, and it was difficult for me to get into the rhythm, but it makes you a much better player. I think my time there has been fundamental in my career.”

The midfielder’s tenure at Arsenal experienced a managerial shift from Emery to Arteta. Under Mikel Arteta, Ceballos found improved form, leading to the extension of his loan for the 2020/21 season. However, despite his continued presence in the team, the season transpired with minimal individual accolades amidst a period of challenging performances for the club.

Despite his desire to return to Spain, the Spaniard expressed his belief in Arteta’s managerial abilities while also acknowledging Arteta’s potential for future success at Arsenal. 

Ceballos told El Larguero, “Arteta is a coach who I am sure will be one of the best in the world in the next few years, but I would like to return to the Spanish league.”

In one of his previous interviews, he stated that the manager, Mikel Arteta, was the main reason why he decided to stay at Arsenal, and that since joining the club he had become a much more mature player, having improved a lot.

Dani Ceballos said in an interview via managingmadrid.com, “Arteta has everything to be top 3 in the world. I learned new things with him. I anticipated what happened in the matches. What I lived with him, I will hardly live with another coach. He knows what the player needs. For me, he will be one of the best in the world.”

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