Hector Bellerin was convinced to remain at the London giants for one more campaign after holding heart-to-heart negotiations with the Spanish manager in the summer. Spain international was courted by both Barcelona and PSG in the summer but was persuaded to stay by his former teammate and current coach.
Hector, who joined the London giants from Barcelona’s La Masia academy as a youngster, has established himself as the club’s first-choice right-back in the years following Bacary Sagna’s departure to Man City but has struggled to regain his best form since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury back in January 2019.
Bellerin has only over two year remaining on his current deal and with the Gunners harboring only remote hopes of qualifying for next campaign’s UCL, he is again likely to be questioning his future. Mikel Arteta has a broad deal with the 25-year-old defender that he will be allowed to leave this summer, should Arsenal receive a suitable offer.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s UEL win against Benfica, meanwhile, Mikel Arteta revealed how his dynamic with the Spanish defender had changed over the course of the last year.
‘If you asked me that question a few years ago I’d probably say if he is the way he is it’s nice because we had a really strong relationship and I tried to help him as much as I could,’ the Spanish boss said when asked if he had a special bond with Bellerin.
‘Now it’s a different relationship. Obviously, when you know the person and you know the professional, it’s easier to help them because you know how he feels, you know what he needs and how to get the best out of him.’