Dani Ceballos has cast serious doubt on his chances of staying at Arsenal by admitting he prefers La Liga to the Premier League and it “would be difficult” to go on loan again.
Ceballos is currently in the second season of a loan spell from Real Madrid to Arsenal. He started 18 Premier League games last term and is currently on 15 for this campaign. There has been talk of a permanent move in the summer but the Spaniard has now appeared to rule that out.
Mikel Arteta has said he is “really happy” with the impact Ceballos has made. However, the Gunners boss is waiting until the end of the season to find out whether his compatriot’s spell in north London can be extended further.
It seems the 24-year-old has little intention of signing up for a longer stay at the Emirates Stadium, though.
Speaking to Onda Cero, the midfielder addressed his struggles this season and spoke openly about his desire to return to his native country.
“I’ve had a bad time because I didn’t have the consistency I had last year,” he said. “These last 5 or 6 games I’ve played at a good level.
“To be honest I like La Liga a lot more. The Premier League is more complete but with my style, La Liga is much better for me.
“Another loan would be difficult from both sides, for Real Madrid and for me.”
Ceballos isn’t just eyeing a return to Spain, but already knows which club he would like to play for next.
“I’m about to turn 25 in August and I have to settle at a club where I feel important, that’s what I’ll look for,” he added.
“I have a lot of affection for Betis, I’m a Betis fan, I watch every Betis game, [Manuel] Pellegrini is a really good coach who I like.”
He previously came through the Real Betis youth ranks, making more than 100 appearances before leaving for Madrid. He remains under contract in the Spanish capital until 2023, but now seems to be looking for a way out.
And it appears Arsenal won’t be the destination.
Arsenal hopes over for Odegaard
As well as Ceballos, Martin Odegaard is currently on loan at Arsenal from Madrid. But he too may not be returning to the Emirates next season.
After arriving in January, there has been speculation that Arsenal could look to keep Odegaard permanently. However, those hopes too appear to be fading.
Last week it was claimed that Madrid would offer the Norwegian a more prominent role upon his return to the Bernabeu. Therefore, Arsenal look set to miss out on both permanent deals.
With that in mind, they may need to turn their attention to other attacking midfielders instead.