Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has been strongly linked with a return to Barcelona, but they may no longer be ready to follow up on their interest.
The Spaniard left the Barca youth set-up in order to sign his first professional contract with Arsenal, and has risen up through the ranks in North-London to become one of the first names on the team sheet week-in week-out.
Bellerin earned a place in last season’s Premier League Team of the Year, and was promoted to Spain’s first-team squad for the European Championships, leading to his former club to sit up and take notice.
Barcelona chiefs have since been dropping praise and positive comments into the press about their former youngster, before reports claimed that Arsene Wenger had contacted the Spanish giants to inform them that they could land the defender for £40 Million.
Aleix Vidal has been claimed to be shaky since taking over the role after Dani Alves departure to Juventus, but youth product Sergi Roberto has since stepped up and made the switch from central midfield as cover, and is flourishing in the role.
After the club’s 5-0 win over Sporting Gijon, manager Luis Enrique even moved to single out Roberto, casting strong doubt on the possible return of Bellerin.
Enrique said: “I do not see anyone better for us on the right side than Sergi Roberto. He plays very well for us between the lines and he brings many resources to the team.”
This is music to my ears, as Bellerin has fast become one of my favourite players, and could well be our best ever right-back should he continue to prove immensely consistent beyond his years.
Could Sergi Roberto have saved us from the possibility of a Bellerin exit? Could the full-back be replaced?