Dani Ceballos has said that he will be important for Arsenal during the second half of the season.
The midfielder, who is on loan from Real Madrid this term, has not started a game for the Gunners across any competition since November when he limped off during the 1-1 draw against Vitoria in the Europa League.
A hamstring injury would keep the 23-year-old sidelined for just over a month and when he returned to training a lot had changed.
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Unai Emery – the man who brought him to the Emirates Stadium last summer – was sacked as head coach at the end of November and eventually replaced by Mikel Arteta shortly before Christmas.
And despite taking part in several training sessions, Ceballos was limited to just one substitute appearance – against Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round – prior to the winter break.
A lack of game time as a result of the change in management prompted speculation that the midfielder was to terminate his loan deal and return to Real Madrid in the January transfer window.
However, Ceballos stayed put and is convinced he can earn the trust of Arteta whom he thinks is a great appointment for the Gunners.
“Mikel is going to be a great coach,” Ceballos said in an interview with Marca. “He has learned from Pep, he has a game philosophy that I think fits perfectly in what he asks for his team.
“Yes, it is true that he has arrived in a difficult situation for the club but mentally he is a coach that I think is what Arsenal needs right now.
“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.”
The Gunners’ four-day warm weather training camp in Dubai came to an end on Tuesday and now attentions shift towards the Premier League clash against Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
Ceballos is effectively in direct competition with Mesut Ozil for a starting role at the Emirates, but he was overlooked in favour of Joe Willock in last month’s cup tie at the Vitality Stadium.
It remains to be seen as to what is in Arteta’s thoughts in terms of team selection, but with an Europa League tie against Olympiacos as well as facing Portsmouth in the FA Cup on the horizon, it’s likely that Ceballos should see his game time increase in the coming weeks