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Zidane denies Ceballos feud led to Arsenal loan switch

16:00 GMT+3 26/07/2019
Dani Ceballos Real Madrid 2018-19
The midfielder completed a loan to the Gunners on Thursday, a move his manager at the Santiago Bernabeu believes will prove beneficial

Zinedine Zidane has dismissed speculation he does not get along with Dani Ceballos, insisting the midfielder was loaned to Arsenal to increase his game time.

Ceballos' season-long loan to the Premier League club was confirmed on Thursday, as the Spain international became the Gunners' second signing of the transfer window, followed closely by William Saliba.

The 22-year-old joined Madrid from Real Betis in 2017, having caught the eye in the European Under-21 Championship following an impressive 2016-17 season in La Liga.

However, Ceballos struggled to establish himself under Zidane, making 22 appearances in all competitions in 2017-18 before featuring 34 times last term.

Only three of those appearances came after Zidane had been reappointed as Los Blancos boss in March, though, and Ceballos has been handed an opportunity to test himself in England's top flight.

But Zidane affirmed he has no problem with Ceballos.

"No, it's not that I didn't get on with Ceballos. I think Dani needed to play a lot because he's an important player," Zidane told a news conference.

"It's true that at Madrid he has not had enough minutes, it's just about that. There are a lot of players here, a lot of competition. I wish him to play many games and do well."

Ceballos is looking forward to taking on a new challenge in English football.

He believes Unai Emery is capable of bringing the best out of him, with the man in charge at Emirates Stadium playing a big part in his decision to head for north London.

“The coach was the turning point in terms of me joining this massive club,” Ceballos told Arsenal's official website.

“He’s a Spanish coach and he knows me from my time at other clubs. I’m really happy to be able to help Arsenal achieve our objectives.

“I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start.

“I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal.

“He’s a very tactical coach and I think that’s going to really help me to perfect my positioning. I think we’re both going to try our best to make me a better player.”