Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reportedly personally stepped in to convince club chiefs to complete a deal to re-sign Dani Ceballos when it seemed a move was likely to break down.
The Spanish midfielder spent last season on loan at the Emirates, and despite suffering from injury issues made a big impression, playing a key role in helping his side win the FA Cup.
He returned to Real Madrid over the summer, and it appeared uncertain whether the Gunners would be able to get a deal done to bring him back to north London.
Los Blancos were unwilling to sell Ceballos, maintaining that he could be an important player in the future, and initially this put off Arsenal, who were keen on bringing in the player permanently or not at all.
But according to Marca Arteta is such a fan of Ceballos that he insisted Arsenal brokered another loan, believing that having him for only one more season would be better than not at all.
This is believed to be unusual behaviour for Arteta, who normally allows the likes of technical director Edu get on with the job without intervening.
It goes to show just how much faith he has in Ceballos, and what an important part of his side he foresees the playmaker being this season.
Speaking after his re-signature was confirmed, Arteta said of Ceballos: “Dani was an integral part of our team last season.
“I love Dani’s passion and commitment and he’s a highly skilful player. We’re all delighted to welcome him back and we look forward to seeing him pick up where he left off.”
Ceballos has featured in every Premier League game for the Gunners so far this season, and could form a mouthwatering partnership with Thomas Partey, who signed from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.