Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has publicly revealed the prospect of working under Unai Emery proved crucial in his decision to join the Gunners on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.
Ceballos, 22, made 33 appearances for Real Madrid last season but was increasingly agitated over limited minutes at a sustained rate across all competitions. He netted three goals in La Liga, with two assists in six Copa del Rey matches but failed to earn an extended run-in and had to feature across a range of midfield positions.
However, he’s hoping that will not be the case under an admirer in Emery – whose presence in north London saw him snub rival Premier League rivals, including Champions League winners Liverpool and runners-up Tottenham this month. After impressing as Spain won last month’s u21 European Championships, he had a number of offers from a range of top European clubs.
Nonetheless, he took a somewhat surprising risk by joining the Gunners where he’s already revealed his happiness at a year-long loan deal now being complete.
As quoted by the Metro, he said: “The coach was the turning point in terms of me joining this massive club. He’s a Spanish coach, knows me from my time at other clubs and I’m really happy to help Arsenal achieve our objectives. I knew I had the coach’s confidence, which was very important for me from the start.”
A potential spanner was thrown into the works when Real midfielder Marco Asensio sustained a serious knee injury during Los Blancos’ pre-season campaign, though Madrid nonetheless continued through with this deal.
“He [Emery] is a very tactical coach, I think that’s going to really help me perfect my positioning. I think we’re both going to try our best to make me a better player.”
Many have already suggested the playmaker is using Arsenal as a springboard for further success, after receiving advice from fellow Spain teammate Hector Bellerin about life in north London. On the deal, Emery said: “We’re excited to see Dani join us, he’s a talented player with big technical ability, creativity and precision.”
In addition, the Gunners also announced the signing of Saint-Etienne’s teenage defender William Saliba for £27m. The 18-year-old will return to France on-loan ahead of the 2019/20 campaign for further first-team experience, whilst they remain hopeful on deals for Celtic’s Kieran Tierney and another defender before the window closes early next month.