Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin was intent on getting his wish to join Real Betis on loan, according to reports in Spain.
The 26-year-old will compete in La Liga after struggling to hold down a starting spot in England last term. He has been badly affected by injuries in recent seasons and will be looking to get back to his best during 2021-22.
Mikel Arteta has brought in Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu as his replacement in the mean time.
Spanish outlet ABC Sevilla (via Sport Witness) now provide a detailed report on Bellerin’s switch to Betis.
They claim that negotiations over a transfer began as early as May. The four-time Spain international revealed his dream of playing for boyhood team Betis, but Arsenal were not convinced.
Betis were told it would take a significant offer to land Bellerin in the summer. Arsenal reportedly set their asking price at €23million (£19.7m). However, work continued in the background, and Bellerin knew that the Benito Villamarin stadium was likely to be his next destination.
As no one was willing to meet Arsenal’s demands, they restarted discussions with Betis before Tuesday’s transfer deadline. Bellerin agreed to take a pay cut on his £110,000-a-week wages. The deal was agreed not long afterwards.
The right-back has previously revealed how he came to follow Betis.
“My first shirt was Betis because my father was a fan of the Verdiblanco team,” he said. “It was difficult for me to support another club.”
Bellerin has spent ten years at Arsenal since joining from Barcelona as a teenager. The Gunners have lifted three FA Cups and three Community Shields in that time.
He was named on the bench for Arsenal’s opening league defeat to Brentford. He failed to even make the match day squad for the following two games. Arteta preferred to use Cedric Soares on the right side of defence.
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Elneny is unlikely to receive much game time this season due to the arrival of Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Elneny came on for 45 minutes in the recent 5-0 thrashing by Manchester City.
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