Dani Ceballos did not mince words at the news conferences for the Spanish national team as La Furia Roja prepare for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Norway and Sweden.
“I don’t feel sorry for not being there [Madrid],” he said. “I’ve been successful in leaving, now I’m where I want to be and I’m very happy,” he continued. “My idea was to leave, play and enjoy football. In the previous two years I hadn’t done that.”
Ceballos joined Real Madrid from Real Bettis before the 2017-18 season but was stuck behind older, more established players like Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro, and Isco. He only made 35 appearances in two seasons with Los Merengues. The reporting back in August when he was loaned to Arsenal was that he had pushed hard for a move away, and his quotes today back that up.
Too often, we forget that footballers are people. If you boil it down (a lot), they are guys with jobs, and they can have the same issues at those jobs that we have with ours. They can feel stuck, underappreciated, underused, and not be happy where they are. Clearly, Ceballos was experiencing those things at Real Madrid.
I’m thrilled that he’s happier at the Emirates. Both because it makes Arsenal a better team, and more importantly, because we should generally want people to be happy in their lives. At 23-years old, he has his best years of football ahead of him. He likes it in North London. Hopefully Raul Sanllehi and Edu take note and make his loan move a permanent one.