On-loan Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has revealed that it was a “mistake” to show too much enthusiasm for game time earlier on in the season.
Having played in every game in all competitions from the start of the season until the beginning of November, Ceballos went off midway through a Europa League clash with Vitoria SC with a hamstring injury.
The Spanish international made his return to action in January in the FA Cup third round and is expected to push on having had further time to gain fitness during the winter break.
Indeed, the 23-year-old confirmed that he was to stay in North London during the break in a bid to get back into the first-team fold under Mikel Arteta, who he is yet to play under.
Speaking to Marca, Ceballos opened up on his injury woes and described this season as the “toughest” period of his career.
“I think I played in too many games,” the midfielder said. “I played 17 matches in two months, I was the only player who had played in every game.
“I spoke to [former Arsenal boss] Unai [Emery] and explained I wanted to play in every competition. Sometimes you have to accept you made mistakes.
“It is the toughest time I have had as a professional but it is important to learn from this.
“Mikel is going to be a great coach for Arsenal. He has learned from Pep [Guardiola], he has a game philosophy that I think fits perfectly in what he asks for his team.
“Since I came back I have been working with him just two weeks and now is when I have to show him that I am fit to play in Arsenal. After the break I will be important.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Ceballos revealed that he snubbed a move to Liverpool in the summer in favour of working under Emery, adding that he felt he wouldn’t fit in with Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.
In other news, Arsenal are reportedly trying to tie Bukayo Saka down to a new contract amid interest from Liverpool and Manchester United.
The 18-year-old winger has made 24 appearances for the Gunners this term, scoring three goals and assisting six others.
According to the Daily Mail, both Liverpool and United have been monitoring Saka’s situation, with only 18 months remaining on his contract.