Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has lauded the attitude and performances of Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos, while hinting the midfielder’s time at the club may not end in the summer.
After spending the first month following Arteta’s arrival injured, Ceballos initially struggled to win over his compatriot – with just one substitution appearance under the new manager before the new ‘winter break’.
Yet, the 23-year-old midfielder has started every Premier League fixture following that two-week hiatus and scored the late winner against Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals. However, Ceballos is set to return to the Spanish capital when his loan deal expires at the end of July – after extending his contract to reach the end of the current campaign.
When asked about Ceballos’ performances, Arteta told The Telegraph: “I am really happy with him. The way he is evolving and I love how much he likes to play football – the passion he puts into every training session and in every game.
“Whether he is on the pitch or on the bench, the way he celebrates shows how much he puts in, like his life goes into it. I think he is evolving in the right way and he is becoming a really important player for us.”
Ceballos recently hinted that his future at Real Madrid may have come to an end if he is unable to guarantee more playing time. With the goal of playing for Spain at both the European Championships and Olympic Games next summer, Ceballos expressed a need to have a consistent place in his side’s starting XI to ensure his national team aspirations.
Arteta briefly addressed the negotiations with Real Madrid, although delivered no assurances either way by saying: “We are talking to the club. Obviously we do not own the player, he is not in our hands so the clubs will need to have a communication and see what we can do.”