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Forgotten Arsenal star: ‘I’ll repay the fans’

Loan signing Ceballos says he ‘feels loved’ at the Emirates

13 February, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Dani Ceballos joined Arsenal on a season-long loan from Real Madrid last summer

ON-SONG Arsenal fans have convinced forgotten man Dani Ceballos to stay and fight for his place.

Ceballos, who joined on a season-long loan from Real Madrid last summer, has only featured once under Mikel Arteta since injuring his hamstring in November.

It was widely reported that the attacking midfielder was ready to leave north London in January and return to Spain, with Valencia among the interested clubs.

But Ceballos insists he has never thought about leaving, especially after “feeling the love” of the supporters.

He said: “It seems like something silly but Arsenal fans had a song for me – there are only three or four players in the team who have their own song and they have been here for years. I feel loved here, each time I play at the Emirates or go out to warm up, the fans are always supporting me.”

With his match fitness returning, Ceballos says he is determined to show Gunners boss Arteta he is good enough for the starting line-up, adding that he wants to play a key part in the club’s pursuit of European qualification.

The 23-year-old told Spanish sports newspaper Marca: “Mikel will be a brilliant coach. He has learned from Pep [Guardiola], and he has a philosophy of play which I think I fit perfectly. Its true he arrived in a difficult situation of the club, but mentally he’s exactly the kind of coach Arsenal need right now.

“I’ve been working with him for around two weeks and now I have to show him I’m good enough to play for Arsenal. After the winter break I will be important.”

Meanwhile the feel-good factor under Arteta is spreading, with Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette backing the Spaniard’s changes since taking over in December.

Ozil, speaking at the Gunners’ Dubai training camp during the winter break, said: “As a team, we are much happier and everyone wants to give everything for this club.”

And while Lacazette hasn’t scored since Arteta took charge, he added: “We are more together now. The way we think as well, on the pitch and outside the pitch.”

Arsenal return to action this Sunday when Newcastle visit the Emirates Stadium. Fans are expected to get their first sighting of January signing Pablo Mari, who could start in the heart of Arsenal’s defence alongside David Luiz, while fellow new recruit Cedric Soares could also feature.

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