Dani Ceballos has already made his mind up about his future, but not without a parting compliment for Mikel Arteta.
The midfielder has been on loan with Arsenal for the last two seasons from Real Madrid, racking up 49 Premier League appearances but never managed a league goal.
Ceballos enjoyed a largely impressive first season with the Gunners but struggled to make his mark this season as Arteta’s men struggled for form, missing out on European qualification for the first time in 25 years and losing in the semi-final of the Europa League.
In truth, Arsenal were not likely to pursue a permanent deal for Ceballos with his Real Madrid teammate Martin Odegaard the priority for this summer.
But in any case, Ceballos has revealed he wants to return to his homeland, but not before giving Arteta a big slap on the back, tipping his fellow Spaniard to become ‘one of the best’.
“Arteta is a coach who I am sure will be one of the best in the world in the next few years, but I would like to return to the Spanish league,” he told El Larguero.
That may be seen as a bold claim over Arteta with the Spaniard struggling to make his mark on Arsenal so far despite an FA Cup victory last season.
Arteta couldn’t improve the Gunners’ position after the departure of Unai Emery, finishing eighth last season, and they once again finished in eighth in his first full season in charge.
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Though, without the FA Cup, Arsenal will now be without European football next season for the first time in 25 years, and there is big pressure on Arteta heading into next term.
If Ceballos is right about the former Manchester City assistant, Arsenal fans might be able to look forward to an upturn in form, but if he is wrong, then Arteta may not live to see the end of next season with much to prove in the early stages of next term.