Mikel Arteta says Dani Ceballos is training well after his prolonged spell on the sidelines.
Eyebrows were raised when the Spaniard wasn’t part of the matchday squad for last weekend’s game against Crystal Palace but the boss insists there’s no issue, it’s simply a case of waiting for his compatriot to get fully up to speed.
Signed on a season-long loan, it’s fair to say we’ve not seen the best of Ceballos since he initially impressed all and sundry with his close control and trickery in the 2-1 win over Burnley in August. That’s a long time ago.
“Yes,” replied Arteta when asked in his weekly press conference if Ceballos is in his plans.
“Dani had an injury where he was out for almost two months and had to go to Madrid for his rehab,” he added.
“He came back and in the first few weeks I didn’t think that he was physically at the level to compete for starting games.
“It’s true that I have players in that position who have been performing really well, and last week when I believed that he was ready to step in, I decided to pick another player.
“But he’s been training good, I’m happy with him and I know him really well, so there’s no issues there.”
Ceballos was due to use his spell in London to gain more regular first team football and to prove to Madrid that they have a bona fide star on their hands.
The fitness problems, Arsenal being bad and Unai Emery getting the sack haven’t really helped him do that. Luckily there are still a few months for him to make an impact.
Arteta also gave a quick update on Hector Bellerin who has been on the cusp of a return to action for ages but continues to struggle with a hamstring issue.
“He has been training with us for the past few days, he is looking much sharper, much better.
“He needs a little chunk of training sessions before he is ready to compete but he is looking much better.”