Manchester City and Barcelona have Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin in their sights. And with uncertainty over a new deal, both clubs are looking to lure the former La Masia product away from the Gunners.
Despite Arsenal’s adamant stance on keeping Bellerin, Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has praised the full-back as a “great player,” and has spoken out regarding why he was allowed to leave the Catalan club.
“It’s positive that [Bellerin] get minutes at other clubs. It is a dynamic which has always provided good results for players that carry the Barca DNA in their blood.” said Mestre. “Look at the cases of Cesc, Pique, Alba, and Denis Suarez.”
Bellerin left Barcelona when he was 16 in the summer of 2011. Since then, the 21-year-old has become a regular fixture in Wenger’s line-up. Mestre claims the reason behind his exit was that Wenger would be able to promise the youngster playing time while Barcelona could not. Dani Alves was a mainstay at the right-back position and Bellerin would not have had the growth he needed.
“We’ve already seen him as a Cule,” Mestre said. “He’s a great player, there’s no doubt about that.”
A number of Barcelona youth graduates have matured at other clubs before returning to the Camp Nou. And Barcelona understands that there is always a chance of luring them back in if they are good enough.
For Bellerin, while the prospect of returning home to play for an organized power-house is scrumptious, Arsenal will want to do whatever it takes to keep him at The Emirates. A player with his speed and technical abilities only come once every so often and they cannot afford to lose another one to Manchester City.
It seems clear that Guardiola is building City to play similarly to Barcelona tactically and Bellerin would be another piece to a near completed puzzle.
If we were in Arsenal’s position, we’d pay him whatever he demands. It’d be worth it.