Hector Bellerin has hinted that he has no intention of returning to Arsenal when his season-long loan at Real Betis comes to an end.
The Spain international accepted a move to the club he supported as a boy on deadline day after the Gunners landed Japan star Takehiro Tomiyasu as his replacement. The 26-year-old had previously been phased out by Arteta, who preferred Calum Chambers at right-back instead.
Arteta accepted a proposal from Betis after consulting with an analytics company to check they would suit him. And things have gone well so far, with Bellerin playing in four LaLiga matches.
When asked about his future by El Desmarque, Arteta was fairly comprehensive in his reply, saying: “I don’t know but I’ve always said it: “If I didn’t want to be here next year, I wouldn’t have come from the beginning.
“There are many things to be decided but what I want to do is enjoy the year that I am here. And what has to happen will happen.”
Bellerin will have one more year on his Arsenal contract come the end of this season. That is likely to prompt the Gunners into a summer sale, rather than lose the player for nothing in 2023.
It’s also been reported that Bellerin took a sizeable pay cut to join Betis, the club his father also supported.
And the defender appeared to confirm that was the case, adding: “It is clear that money is something important, because it is our job.
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“But I think that in football, that love of sport, of the club, is being lost. And for me, after having understood and had that feeling since childhood, there are things you put ahead [of money].
“This year-and-a-half that has just passed has made us rethink many things.
“For me and for everyone it was an effort to carry out the operation not only from the point of view of money and how much it cost us to get here.
“In the end, those efforts pay off and I had other priorities when making my decision.”
Arteta told to snap up Sevilla hotshot
Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has urged Mikel Arteta to make a move for Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri to replace Alexandre Lacazette.
France attacker Lacazette will be out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to be offered a new deal by the Gunners. Indeed, Arteta is believed to be willing to sanction the player’s Emirates exit.
The north London giants have been linked with the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins. However, recent reports suggest that Morocco star En-Nesyri has also been scouted and that Arteta is a big fan.
The 24-year-old has excelled in Spain over the past two seasons, scoring 24 goals last term. He has also netted three times in six games so far this campaign.
En-Nesyri has also been a standout for his country, with 11 goals in 40 appearances. And it’s fair to say that Campbell is impressed, with the forward rated at around €45million.
He told the Highbury Squad podcast: “Good player, really good. For me, he would definitely come in and carry a threat. I will tell you that much.
“He will carry a threat top end of the pitch. He has good size, speed, knows where the goal is, he is skilful too.”