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Mikel Arteta defends ‘passionate’ Dani Ceballos after Arsenal bust-up with Nketiah as pair pose for picture after row

MIKEL ARTETA defended “passionate” Dani Ceballos after his bust-up with Arsenal team-mate Eddie Nketiah.

The pair clashed during the warm-up ahead of the Gunners’ win at Fulham on Saturday but did pose for a selfie to assure fans there were no hard feelings.

Midfielder Ceballos put in a needlessly-heavy challenge on the Englishman in a rondo passing drill.

Nketiah reacted angrily and grabbed the Spaniard’s arm before the on-loan Real Madrid man shoved the striker.

Then seconds later when the ball came back to Nketiah, he blasted the ball at his team-mate’s foot.

Arsenal’s other subs including Sead Kolasinac – who fought off robbers with Mesut Ozil last year – and set-piece coach Andreas Georgson were among those trying to keep the peace.

But Arteta played down the incident and credited his Spanish compatriot for his attitude.

The Gunners gaffer claimed he did not see it and said: “Dani was an integral part of our team last season and finished the season in excellent form.

“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 came off the bench to replace Granit Xhaka for the final 12 minutes in the 3-0 win – enough time to produce a very cheeky nutmeg on Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

He then took to his Instagram after full-time at Craven Cottage to share a smiling photo with Nketiah.

He captioned the picture: “No problems here my brother.”

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