The Sad Case of Hector Bellerin and Why Arsenal Must Seriously Consider Selling Him this Summer by AI
Hector Bellerin has had a good run so far in Arsenal. When he emerged, it was with a frightening athletic ability to eat up space like no other. Even as other aspects of his game were lacking, such as his defensive ability, Bellerin could always make up for it with his pace. In Emery’s first season, Hector Bellerin was 23 and reaching new levels in his game. He added a sense of when to move and when to stay back with increased technical capabilities. He was at 5 assists before the middle of the campaign and right on track to break the double-digit mark along with Liverpool’s fullback duo when he sustained the worst injury of his career.
Ever since then, Bellerin has lost his elite pace. When he runs, he looks leggy and painfully slow compared to his former self. He can no longer outrun even the average attacker. And when you consider that his defensive work leaves much to be desired, his flank has become a defensive liability for Arsenal this season. Opponents repeatedly target his side and the likes of Pepe in front of him have not been helping much.
And yet the Spaniard is on 4 assists this season. He won the penalty that gave us our first league victory at Old Trafford in many years. How is he doing it without his former pace?
It’s simple: Bellerin has upped his technical skills. He now passes very well now and has improved the timing of his runs. Naturally, these are things that come with age and experience. As such, one must wonder: at what level would Hector Bellerin currently be if he never lost his pace?
Sadly, despite improving technically, the loss of pace will always ensure that the 25-year-old who was never a defensive lynchpin remains a liability defensively. With the emergence of a realistic prospect like Tariq Lamptey at Brighton, who has already been linked with Arsenal, we must consider replacing the Spaniard.
Lamptey is homegrown, incredibly young and electric. He’s a slightly better version of young Bellerin with more technique. As a Chelsea academy graduate, he is London bred, Premier League experienced and needs no adaptation period. He is open for a move to a more ambitious club who can offer him the brightness of London and better wages than whatever he is getting at Brighton. There is also the lure of European football, a bigger platform and little competition. Lamptey will be hoping that Arsenal will give him better chances of an England cap.
Hector Bellerin, on the other hand, will not go cheaply despite his injury. I do not see Arsenal selling him for anything less than 25-30 million pounds. It could even be more. Whatever Arsenal sell him for, it will be a significant contribution to any transfer fee for Lamptey. And when you consider the fact that Lamptey will likely not be earning much more than Bellerin in wages, it becomes a very sensible option.
Competition for Lamptey won’t be that much of a problem. Liverpool, City and Chelsea (who let him go in the first place) won’t be in the running for him. United is also unlikely and even if they did, there is less competition at Arsenal. Interest from abroad is likely but Arsenal have a unique advantage to win any race for his signing. Even a big transfer fee would not be much of a problem if Hector Bellerin is sold. Arsenal must seriously consider this.