Ryan had six months on-loan at Arsenal before leaving Brighton for La Real.
Speaking to The Athletic about life in La Liga, Ryan revealed that he held talks with manager Mikel Arteta about the prospect of a permanent move, only for the situation to have changed over the course of the summer.
“I had a sit-down with Arteta at the end of the season," he said.
“It was all very positive. He said I'd exceeded everyone's expectations and I gave him quite a lot of headaches in selection.
“His comment to me was, 'I'm going to speak to the club about trying to sign you permanently.' Over the summer, we were waiting. The club never contacted us directly, then it got to the point where I had another offer (from Sociedad). We went back to Arsenal and they just said I wasn't No 1 on their list."