Dani Ceballos has revealed his injuries at Arsenal have been the toughest time of his career but insists he will be important for the club.
The Spaniard is on as season-long loan deal at the Gunners from Real Madrid but hasn’t played since sustaining a hamstring injury against Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League in November.
The 23-year-old has started just nine matches across all competitions for the North London club this season but the exit of Unai Emery as boss may have changed his first-team opportunities.
“I think I played in too many games,” Ceballos explained to Marca.
“I played 17 matches in two months, I was the only player who had played in every game. I spoke to (former Arsenal boss) Unai (Emery) and explained I wanted to play in every competition. Sometimes you have to accept you made mistakes.
“It is the toughest time I have had as a professional but it is important to learn from this.
“Mikel is going to be a great coach for Arsenal. He has learned from Pep, he has a game philosophy that I think fits perfectly in what he asks for his team.
“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 midfielder also confirmed that he always intended to remain at the North London club for the remainder of his loan spell despite reports in January that he would return to La Liga, with Valencia said to be keen.
“I decided to remain at Arsenal because they showed trust in me before,” Ceballos added.
“Arsenal fans have a song about me, it makes me feel loved and I want to repay that.”
Real Betis – the former club of Ceballos – are also said to have made a tentative enquiry of the player, who looks set to return to Madrid this summer.