Dani Ceballos believes his recent training ground spat with David Luiz shows Arsenal have a character not previously seen until Mikel Arteta’s arrival.
Reports suggested the 24-year-old midfielder was involved in a physical altercation with the Brazilian defender following an argument after a training match during the international break.
Although both players were quick to move on, Ceballos believes it shows the side are moving in the right direction under Arteta.
“It was not an exemplary behaviour but it is good to see Arsenal is alive – that the team has character,” Ceballos told SunSport.
“The team was almost dead – but after Arteta’s arrival, we won the FA Cup and the Community Shield.
“It’s not even a year since he arrived and he has given a radical change to the club.
“He’s the soul of the club and he’s lucky that the players trust him 100 per cent.”
At the time, Arteta played down the incident but promised there would be “consequences” if he discovers the source of the media leak.
“Training is very competitive and issues happen a lot of times,” Arteta said. “Those things get resolved immediately within the team and there is not much to say.
“There is no problem at all [between the two players] but I don’t like the fact that that incident comes out at all.
“And I will find out where it is coming from and if that is the case, that goes completely against what I expect from each other, the privacy and the confidentiality that we need, and there will be consequences.”
It is not the first time Ceballos, on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, has been involved in an altercation with a team-mate.
He was caught on camera having a disagreement with Eddie Nketiah as the two substitutes warmed up ahead of Arsenal’s win at Fulham on the opening day of the Premier League season.
Paul Merson has questioned whether Arsenal are making any improvement under Mikel Arteta, saying the Gunners are nothing more than a mid-table team.
“Some people are saying one step forward, one step back. One step back?! That’s kind,” Merson said. “They were a million miles off Leeds last Sunday.
“It did Arsenal a favour when Nicolas Pepe got sent off, Leeds then ran out of ideas because Arsenal had to sit deep.
“Only a couple weeks before, Leicester went to Leeds and put four past them. Leeds let in goals. The teams that beat them are the teams with players who can glide past their defenders; Arsenal don’t have that.
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is bringing absolutely nothing to the party at the moment. He played central and he was ineffective as he was before.
“You watch them and think they are a middle-of-the-table team. Looking back at that win at Manchester United, it doesn’t look so great now.”