Opinion – Arsenal should keep Hector Bellerin for one more year

Why I want to keep Bellerin at Arsenal next season.

A year ago, Arsenal’s current longest servant and youth academy graduate, Hector Bellerin left on a season long loan to Real Betis in his native country Spain, most Arsenal fans didn’t expect him to play for the Gunners again.

The 27-year-old right back joined the Arsenal academy in 2011 and was known for his fast pace as he broke into the first team under Wenger, he went on to be the only Arsenal player in the 2015/16 PFA Team of the year, which earnt him a bumper contract until 2023.

However, after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury against Chelsea in 2019, he was out of action for nine months with potentially a career changing injury.

He returned in September 2020 and scored the 87th minute 2-2 equaliser against Chelsea that season, as well as playing the full 90 minutes against the Blues in our FA cup final win later that campaign.

But in August 2021 Bellerin left for Spain, he was very vocal about his love for his new club and played a key role as Real Betis won the Copa del Rey.

In tears after his final game for the club he said: “I hope we can meet again, Viva el Betis” which sparked rumours about a permanent transfer for the player but his £100,000 a week wages proved to be an issue.

With only a year left on his contract, Bellerin would even take a wage cut to a reported £34,000 a week to re-join Betis and has also had interest from Roma, Florentina, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus at around an £8 million fee.

Yet after returning to Arsenal he was given the captains armband in a behind-closed-door 5-1 win against Ipswich town.

So, what should we do with the Hector Bellerin?

I know that he is not the same player as he was five years ago and has lost pace since his ACL injury, there was also a lot of fans annoyed at his attention being on fashion not football.

It’s clear, he won’t make it into our first team especially if we want to be a top four side, but I think that he would be a decent squad player and do a better job than Cedric as backup to Tomiyasu.

He knows Arsenal inside out after being there for over a decade and would add some much-needed experience for our young squad; able to advise those trying to make the step that he made into the first team, and advise on how to recover from big injuries.

As well as this, he is a good ambassador for the club, designing our FA cup final suits with his own company ‘44’ and filming his recovery process of his ACL injury via his YouTube channel.

Both things, while external and not related to on-pitch progress, are good publicity for the club and positive impacts in my opinion.

Arteta has not ruled out keeping him in the Arsenal fold after captaining the player, and perhaps he might prefer to keep the player in favour of Cedric who has himself been quite average for Arsenal when stepping in.

Bellerin has done the job, against pretty much all the big teams and he has often done a great job too, he is still a player who can be reliable, especially in a more defensively sound Arsenal team.

It feels like there is two main issues why Arsenal fans want Bellerin to depart:

  • “He is a Real Betis fan and clearly loves another club”

The fact that his family grew up as Betis supporters breaks this illusion that all Arsenal players must only support the club, while this is true to an extent it would be naive to believe it was the case.

A lot of players probably do not support the club they end up playing for, they may support their previous club or the one they grew up playing for, however it doesn’t affect their ability to give everything for their current club, does it?

Maybe he will end up at Betis after this year, he might want to end his career there, but at only 27, he is not yet a senior and I think that he can still be utilised in this transition period.

I wouldn’t even be that annoyed if he had a year extension, on lower wages.

  • “We can get money for him this year, not next”

While I can understand this argument and do appreciate that we need to make some money from players while we spend, I do not think letting him go for £8 million is particularly worth it.

I believe that he can add to this team next year, if Tomiyasu needs another 2/3 months out for injury, I’d prefer Bellerin to take his spot than Cedric, I feel more comfortable with him.

Would you rather have £8 million tomorrow but end up losing late in the season to Newcastle again, because we simply do not have depth or quality to field a strong defence.

I know that Bellerin is no longer the PFA player of the year he was, but he still has a level of quality as shown at Betis and he also has Arsenal in him, you can’t argue, he has spent over a decade with the club.

I think we could do with a player like this during our rebuild, think Millner at Liverpool for example, he would be great mentor for an academy full back.

With one of the most congested seasons ahead of us (due to the Christmas world cup), I think Arsenal fans may be kicking themselves if they throw him out the club too easily.

What do you think Gooners?


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  1. Not his biggest fan but neither a hater. When he first broke through he did really well, more in an attacking sense but he wasn’t too bad defensively, his pace use to get him out of trouble sometimes when he was caught out of position. If no club is willing to stump up the cash would it be such a bad thing to retain him? I mean Cedric ain’t great either. Bellerin at his best was an attacking outlet down the right and did provide assists for Giroud from crosses maybe he could do similar for Jesus and Eddie who both have good movement in the box.

  2. I really think people exaggerate with Cedric. Bellerin has had worst seasons alone. Neither are long term solutions, but why keep both around? And if I had to pick I would pick Cedric. Bellerin’s time is done here and even he wants to go.

  3. The Guy clearly doesn’t want to stay in England or Arsenal. But u think he is going to sign an one year extension? I think we should let him go because he doesn’t want to play here no more it’s better to use Cedric that at least wants to play for Arsenal

  4. He has had his day and clearly his better days are behind him – shame but after the injury he was a shadow of his former self.
    Seemed distracted and never up for the cause his last season here – dare I say it but Cedric is OK with me and he still ‘wants it’.

  5. It’ll be interesting to see who wears the jersey number 2.Bellerin wore it during our 1st pre-season game but Saliba has now joined with the squad and apparently he is registered with the same number.

  6. he’s more interested in fashion than football. not part of the process and must be discarded. if no one wants him he can play in his own eco club team he’ll like like that…

  7. He is definitely a good player and has Arsenal in him. But of late, he is more interested in playing for Betis and I would rather play players who are interested in playing for Arsenal. Cedric may not be better than him but atleast he wants to play for Arsenal.

  8. I don’t see the benefit of keeping him. I prefer soares, but even if you don’t, there’s not that much between them, and HB clearly doesn’t want to be here, so what would be the point?
    I have to be honest, I never got the hype exactly. He was decent when he started, but the excitement for me was more: if he can handle top level football at 20, he’s going to dominate his position at 23, 24, but he never kicked on. Whether that’s due to injuries, I’m not sure, maybe.
    Personally, I felt eboue had more potential, and his development was unceremoniously “killed” when we signed sagna (this happened right after he’d made the ecl team of the season?) – never understood why that didn’t happen with bellerin at some point, given the years of mediocrity

  9. Benedict makes aconvincing case for his view. That cannot be doubted
    However , my view , which is thepolar opposite to his ,is that all that actually matters in any player is how much USE is he to our team.
    On that point, I think now, as I did back then and ever since, that speed or no speed , he is one of the worst defenders to have ever been a regular at our club in all my sixty plus years of watching.

    As such, it is a no contest. I think him far worse than the moderate, at best Soares and nowhere near good enough to remain at a clubof our level for a moment longer than we can take to send him elsewhere. If we can get £8mill , I think we should bite the hand off whichever club is folish enough to pay it. I much doubt anyone will however.

    I want Bellerin gone at all costs and his decency as a human being, which is certain, is completely irrelevent to our teams necessary improvement IMO!

  10. We have White to cover RB, a position he might slowly transition to.

    We also have any academy player to step in. We can also play three at the back and utilize Saka as a wing back.

    Everything is better than keeping Bellerin at the club. He’s a hasbeen and I wish him well in another club but please, keep him away from Arsenal.

  11. No, we shouldn’t! Bellerin’s effectiveness is gone on EPL. Time to cash in, though I have much respect 👍

  12. Kindly,dont blame Bellerin…I think, and if am not wrong,try Bellerin at position 7 He can do it better.According to his speed & mind…in that position,he can be massive to the opponent,can bring alot of impacts and have many assists.He can even do it better than Saka.Try and see.

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