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‘He was a really important player’ – Arsenal star’s glowing tribute to Jose Antonio Reyes

It’s been a year since former Arsenal player, Jose Antonio Reyes, sadly passed away, and a current Gunner wanted to pay a glowing tribute to him.

Reyes was from the Spanish town of Utrera, the same town where Dani Ceballos grew up, and the latter was clear as to Reyes’ importance to Spanish football as well as Arsenal.

“I joined Arsenal not long after Reyes died,” Ceballos said, cited by the Daily Star.

“He was on my mind a lot around that time because I’m sure he would have got in touch to give me recommendations on good stuff to do here in London.

“That was impossible because of his death, which was sad news for the world of football. I’m sure he’s up there, proud that I’m following in his footsteps. And I’m proud to be following in his footsteps.

“Jose’s death was a huge tragedy, not just for me but for the world of football. He was a really important player for Spain and it’s a shame that he left us at such a young age.

“I spoke to his father and he congratulated me on signing for Arsenal. He told me that it was a massive club where his son had come a long way. I feel a lot of affinity with him because I’m from Utrera too and now I’ve joined Arsenal, just like he did before me.

“As a player he was an icon, not just for me but for Spanish football as a whole, because he played for the biggest clubs in Spain and won titles everywhere he went. I admired him on a personal level because he was from the same village as me.”

Although he hasn’t yet exploded onto the scene in as consistent a manner as perhaps Arsenal might’ve hoped, there’s little doubt that Ceballos has what it takes to be a success in the professional game.

Currently on loan from Real Madrid, another of Reyes’ old clubs, Ceballos has the opportunity to impress fellow Spaniard, Mikel Arteta, in the final few games of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, and potentially earn himself a permanent move if that’s what all parties desire.

In so doing, he would surely become another much loved son of Utrera.

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