Hector Bellerin is “the right-back of the future” and Arsenal must resist any interest from Barcelona or Man City, according to Santi Cazorla.
Spain international Bellerin has been linked with a return to Barca, who have retained an interest in their former academy graduate since it became clear Dani Alves was leaving the club during the summer. Pep Guardiola is also said to be keen to take the 21-year-old to the Etihad Stadium.
Arsene Wenger said last week that the Gunners would look to tie Bellerin down to an improved contract, and team-mate Cazorla says the club must rebuff any approaches for the full-back.
“It is clear that Hector is the right-back of the future,” Cazorla told IBTimes UK.
“You could see in the victory over Swansea how good he is. He was all over the place and never stopped running.
“For Arsenal it would be a mistake to let him go. It is obvious that many teams want him. There has been talk about Manchester City and Barcelona.
“He is a player with great potential and I am sure he will also be a key part of the future of the Spanish national team.”
Cazorla’s future also remains unclear, with the midfielder out of contract at the end of the season. The 31-year-old, though, is enjoying the season so far and is not concerned with thinking too far ahead.
“In my case I will finish my contract at the end of the season but I’m not thinking about it now,” he said. “I’m just focusing on playing and giving my best on the pitch.
“Last season was very difficult for me after spending so much time on the sidelines. Now I just want to enjoy myself again – and we’ll see what happens in the future.
“I’m happy because I’m playing regularly. If I didn’t play I would tell you that I would consider leaving, but I’m having minutes and I have the confidence of the manager. That’s what every player wants.
“Since the very first day at this club I have had the affection of the fans, and that is amazing. I have only words of gratitude to the fans of Arsenal for how they’ve treated me from day one, and I try to repay them by giving my best on the pitch.”