Dani Ceballos has explained that his relationship with Mikel Arteta was key in deciding to return to Arsenal for a second season on loan.
The Spanish midfielder has been largely unable to gain regular action since swapping Real Betis for Real Madrid, forcing him to head out on a temporary deal in 2019/20.
That campaign was up-and-down to an extent, in terms of form and fitness, while the club also underwent some upheaval as Unai Emery was replaced with Arteta and an off-pitch change of strategy became apparent.
But as the season went on, Ceballos played a more prominent role in the heart of Arteta’s midfield, and this quickly settled the midfielders mind as to his plans for 20/21.
“I spoke with Madrid to say that Arteta wanted me to come back,” Ceballos told reporters on international duty.
“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.”
Ceballos also explained that he harboured ambitions to be a part of the Spain squad for next year’s delayed European Championships, which further strengthened his decision to move back to a club where he knows he’ll feature regularly.
“You sit down to appreciate that the Euros and the Olympics are coming and you know that you have to play an important role in my (national) team.”
Ceballos has won 10 senior caps for Spain. He faces renewed competition for places at the Emirates Stadium this season after the late signing of Thomas Partey on deadline day.