If the Catalan giants from La Liga thought they would be able to prise another player out of Arsenal, they look set to be disappointed, as Hector Bellerin has declared his happiness at and dedication to the cause at Arsenal Football Club.
The Spanish right back must surely be aware of the Arsenal transfer rumours linking him with a possible return to Barcelona, where he was born and bred and where he spent eight years as a youth player in their La Masia academy. So his words about Arsenal, reported by ESPN, could be taken as a clear message to his boyhood club that he has no intentions of leaving the club that has given him such a great opportunity at such a young age.
After Arsene Wenger described the 20-year old as one of the big surprises of the season, praising his mentality for pushing on and showing mental strength after some early struggles as well as the quality of his recent performances, the young Gunner has reinforced his position at the club with his warm words.
Bellerin praised his team mates for the way they have helped him and said very good things about the family feeling at the club. He even suggested that he accepts the heavy competition for places and will not be upset if the fit again France international Mathieu Debuchy displaces him from the starting XI.
He said, “Every single minute you play helps you a lot and gives you experience.
“I am happy that now, after not so good performances in the beginning, the coach has still put confidence in me and given me minutes.
“The chances always come through injuries, which is not a nice thing. Now we are going to have Debuchy back and I am happy for him, but when you get your chance, you need to do the best you can. I have done my best to take this opportunity.
“The back-up of the players we have makes you look good as well. They have helped me since the beginning and are my family.
“They have been young players as well so they help you in everything they can. They make you feel like one more in the dressing room.
“We are lucky in this club, we young players get the opportunities and it is important when you get them that you need to take them.
“We are all a team. I can’t single out players who have helped. They have all helped me since the beginning. They are my family.
“I feel really comfortable right now, like one more in the team and that is something you need if you really want to understand [your team-mates] in the game.
“Every single minute you play is like training. It helps you a lot. It gives you experience. I was a winger in my younger career, so the thing I have tried to improve on is my defending. It gives you the confidence when you have players around you who can help. That has probably improved me the most.”
Does that sound like a player who is thinking about leaving? It sounds to me like a very level-headed young man who is happy where he is and grateful for the chances that he has been given so far. This lad will go far, but he will go there with Arsenal, not Barcelona.