‘Never any doubt’ – Dani Ceballos explains why he turned down Real Madrid offer to return to Arsenal

Dani Ceballos looks on during Arsenal's FA Cup victory over Chelsea
Real Madrid have loaned Dani Ceballos to Arsenal for a second successive season (Picture: Getty)

Dani Ceballos says there was ‘never any doubt’ in his mind about wanting to come back to Arsenal, despite offers from Real Madrid and other La Liga sides to stay in Spain for the forthcoming season.

The 24-year-old midfielder impressed after being loaned from Madrid to Arsenal last season and made no secret of his desire to return to north London ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

Zinedine Zidane made Ceballos wait over his future before sanctioning a second successive temporary move to the Emirates and the Spain international is clearly delighted to be back with the Gunners once again.

Dani Ceballos speaks to Arsenal's official website after extending his stay
The Spaniard was adamant about wanting to return this summer (Picture: Arsenal)

‘I’m very pleased to be back with Arsenal where I had such a good time last season,’ Ceballos told the club’s official website after his second loan was confirmed on Friday night.

‘I’m very happy to have come back to a club where I feel important.’

Ceballos celebrates with the FA Cup after Arsenal beat Chelsea
Ceballos turned down offers in Spain to return to north London (Picture: Getty)

Ceballos had several alternative options back home in Spain but insists a return to Arsenal was always his favoured move this summer.

‘It’s true that I had other options, such as staying at Real Madrid and going back to the Spanish league, where there were teams interested in me,’ he added.

‘I spoke to the coach last year, before the FA Cup final, and told him that I wanted to stay at Arsenal and win titles. I’d been really happy with what Mikel [Arteta] had built at the club since I came in.

‘I had a great time at this club last season and there was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to come back.’

Ceballos chats with Arteta during Arsenal's clash with Everton
Ceballos enjoyed working with Arteta last term (Picture: Getty)

Ceballos became a fan favourite with his performances in Arsenal colours, particularly towards the end of last season, and he admits the love and appreciation he’s received from supporters played a major role in his decision.

‘I think everyone will have seen last season that from the moment I joined I bought into the club completely and always gave 100 per cent both on and off the pitch,’ Ceballos continued.

‘The fans repaid me for that by showing me a lot of love… when I was at home they were sending messages asking me to come back and saying they needed me here.

‘I think they’ll be as happy as I am that I’m back and I’m sure we have a great year ahead of us this season. When the coach, the club, the players and everyone is asking you to stay for another year, you realise they see you as a good team-mate and a good player.

‘I feel proud that the club, the coach and, most importantly, the fans wanted me to stay, I didn’t doubt it for a second.’

Arteta says he’s ‘delighted’ to have Ceballos on board again as the Gunners prepare for their opening Premier League clash away at Fulham on September 12.

‘Dani was an integral part of our team last season and finished the season in excellent form,’ the Arsenal head coach said.

‘I love Dani’s passion and commitment and he’s a highly skilful player.

‘We’re all delighted to welcome him back and we look forward to seeing him pick up where he left off.’

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