Official: Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin joins Real Betis on loan
Arsenal announce 16th loan deal as Hector Bellerin completes Real Betis move
Arsenal have announced the latest name added to this season’s loan army.
Miguel Azeez, William Saliba, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi are among the large number Gunners players – across the first-team and U23 set up – spending the campaign away from the Emirates Stadium.
The 26-year-old returns to Spain after a decade at Arsenal having indicated to Mikel Arteta earlier in the summer that he was keen to leave the club.
The first links with Betis – the club Hector’s father supports – surfaced in May but it was believed his wages would make a deal difficult. The right-back subsequently made it clear he’d be willing to take a pay cut to secure a move.
After a flirtation with Inter Milan came to nothing, stories circled that Arsenal were open to the right-back, who is under contract until 2023, signing a new deal. It doesn’t look like that has come to pass meaning he’ll be just 12 months out from becoming a free agent on his return to London.
Nine goals, 29 assists in 239 games for Arsenal is no mean feat for a kid who looked completely out of his depth on his Champions League debut against Borussia Dortmund in 2014.
He proved his early doubters wrong to secure a place in the PFA Team of the Year in 2015/16, picked up a couple of FA Cup medals and was just an all-round good lad, leveraging his status within the game to talk about the environment, veganism and mental health. He was also sent into bat by his Arsenal teammates when pay cuts were proposed by the club and stepped up to discuss racial inequality and Covid-19 charitable efforts with his peers.
While it’s harsh to suggest things have unraveled for him, nine months on the sidelines with a ruptured ACL suffered in January 2019, coupled with the club’s poor form, seem to have hit his confidence.
He’s not playing at the level he was and with that in mind, you can completely understand why he’d want to try something new. We’ll miss his hair, his mo and his mimicking of Kieran ‘tucked-in-shirt’ Tierney.
Have a good one, Hector. We’ll see you in a year.