Hector Bellerin says that his mind feels more free following his summer loan move from Arsenal to his beloved Real Betis.
Arsenal got through most of their summer business with some time to spare in the window. However, they still had a busy deadline day. While they brought in centre-back Takehiro Tomiyasu, they let full-back Bellerin move to Betis on loan for the season, without an option to buy.
The 26-year-old had remained a core part of Mikel Arteta’s plans, but the Spaniard also has Cedric Soares, Calum Chambers and the recently-returned Ainsley Maitland-Niles in his ranks.
As such, the opportunity opened up for Bellerin to seek a move away and Betis was his preferred option. The Spaniard has previously spoken of his admiration for the La Liga club.
Speaking to ABC Sevilla about the transfer, the defender said: “Two weeks before the end of the market it seemed complicated, but it became a reality.
“Football is not just money, sentiment is very important,” he said, as quoted by ABC Sevilla.
“For me, having the opportunity to be here is where I want to be. I face the challenge with great enthusiasm and football does not only depend on the player.
“I will live from day to day. Each one has a different experience when taking these types of steps. Leaving opened my mind a lot and I saw the world in a very different way.”
Bellerin added that his love for Betis runs in his family.
“It is a feeling that my father has instilled since I was little. As a child I was a bit of a turncoat, but he forced me to wear the Betis shirt.
“Being able to make my father happy with a dream that is his, and fulfilling it for him makes me very excited.”
Arsenal eyeing Aubameyang successor
Elsewhere, Arsenal reportedly have their eyes on Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri as Pierre-Aubameyang’s potential successor.
The Gunners’ front line is – as it stands – becoming an area of priority. Aubameyang turned 32 in June, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have entered the final year of their deals.
Aubameyang has just over two years left on his terms, but reports claim that they are eyeing a younger option.
En-Nesyri, 24, was a transfer target for West Ham in January.