Former Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has opened up about his time in England and affirmed his desire to stay at Real Madrid.
Ceballos, 24, spent two seasons in the Emirates and made 77 appearances under Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta.
The playmaker will represent Spain at the Tokyo Olympics later this month, but is keen to return to the Santiago Bernabeu and become a regular with new manager Carlo Ancelotti.
After paying Real Betis £ 14.85million for his services in 2017, Ceballos struggled as a Madridista in his tumultuous two terms but made a whirlwind start to his Arsenal career with two assists decisive in a victory over Burnley in his debut with the Gunners.
He now hopes to impress Ancelotti, who would have wanted the Spaniard while in charge of Napoli.
Ahead of competing in Japan, Ceballos opened up about his time in North London after making it clear his desire to stay with Los Blancos.
“I really want to win at Real Madrid, I will fight to stay here,” he told Spanish media Diario AS.
“The experience with Arsenal in the Premier League has made me stronger, now is the time to win at Real Madrid.”
Ceballos said: “It’s clear, I would like to play for Real Madrid.
“But I have to know what the coach wants and there have to be goals.
“But my intention is to play the coming year at Real Madrid.”
As for his new boss, who abruptly left Everton at the end of the campaign to return to Madrid for a second stint, the versatile midfielder is confident he can make it into the starting XI thanks to his positional flexibility – but must sit with the first Italian. .
“With the arrival of Ancelotti, the stature of a midfielder is wide, as he plays 4-3-3 and sometimes with one of the wingers coming in.
“It’s going to depend on how I get back, how fit I’m in and what conversation we have on hold,” he admitted.
“From there I want to be part of the rest of the options because what I’m very clear about is that I want to play and I have to win it on the pitch to make it difficult for the coach.”
Arsenal fans, are you sad to see Ceballos go? Comment on your feelings on his departure below.
During his two years in England, Ceballos was asked about his favorite and least favorite aspect of the trip.
The 24-year-old revealed: “I start with the worst … The distance and how difficult it is to enjoy your family on a daily basis, something that is very important to me.”
However, he obviously appreciated the relentlessness of the busy Premier League schedule.
“The best part is the football that breathes in England,” he said.
“The stadiums are full, the fans respect you … The games are played every few days and the stands are always full – when you could get to the pitch, of course.
“It’s essential for someone who loves football.”
Reflecting on his time as an Arsenal player, Ceballos believes he is a better all-rounder than before, even hinting at a possible return to the Gunners or a top-level rival.
“On a personal and footballing level, I would say that I am a much more complete player, with more character,” he said.
“I had the opportunity to experience a different league and it gave me a lot more records when it comes to watching football.”
“Yes, I don’t rule it [returning to the Premier League] outside.
“It’s a league that I like, people who really love football would be motivated to play it,” said the ex-Betis.
“If you don’t play there, you can get stuck.”
The Spanish Under-23s face Egypt, Australia and Argentina in their Olympic squad and are among the favorites.