Mar 15, 2017
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Arsenal round-up: Barcelona in defender talks; Reine-Adelaide names his Arsenal hero; Gunners to face Bayern again

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Arsenal are set for a summer of upheaval with several key figures likely to depart. One player who hasn’t been discussed at length is Hector Bellerin. However, Sport report that Barcelona and the Gunners are locked in talks over the right back. The 21-year-old has been frequently linked with a return to the Nou Camp in recent years. He has developed into one of the most exciting right backs in the world and his decision to move to North London as a teenager has been vindicated. That said, a move back to Los Cules will be one that appeals to him.

 

This is the last story that Arsenal supporters will want to be reading as Bellerin has the potential to become a world-class player and they will be hoping that he will be a part of the long-term future at the Emirates Stadium. There had been a fear that Barcelona would return for the 21-year-old at some point in the same way that they did with Cesc Fabregas, but the timing of this story couldn’t come at a worse time. At this stage, these are only rumours, but it wouldn’t be surprising if there was some substance to it.

The North London club have had a good record of bringing through young players over the last decade. Arsene Wenger has many faults as a manager, but this isn’t one of them and Arsenal will need to ensure that their academy doesn’t regress after his departure. The latest player to join the first team squad is Jeff Reine-Adelaide and he has made six first team appearances this season. He has been speaking about his role model, Thierry Henry:

 

“All players and children should look at how Henry and Robert Pires conduct themselves nowadays because they are exemplary. They are straightforward, always ready to chat with us and have a laugh. They spend a lot of time with the young players, talking things through and giving advice. Away from the pitch, I’ve gone out for a meal with Thierry Henry two or three times and he is a really great guy. He has always been very supportive to me and I am grateful to him for that.”

It is great to hear that Henry continues to take the time to help the young players at Arsenal. He clearly loves the club and his close relationship with the players will only benefit them in their development. The Gunners legend is starting on his coaching career and has ambitions to manage the club one day. Although it is too soon for that, stories like this suggest that he has a role to play at the Emirates Stadium and the club should make him part of the coaching set-up.

Finally, it has been a difficult few weeks for the club with two separate 5-1 defeats at the hands of Bayern Munich. Less than a week after being dumped out of the Champions League, Arsenal have announced that they are going to face the German club once more. The Gunners will take on Carlo Ancelotti’s men in pre-season on the 19th July in China.

 

This is designed to raise the publicity of Arsenal in China and further their brand. However, the timing of this announcement will leave a sour taste in the mouths of supporters. They are still embarrassed by the team’s performances in the Champions League and the mention of Bayern Munich so soon after will only serve as a stark reminder. The club have been accused of putting business before success on the pitch and this latest move does little to counter those claims.

Featured image: All rights reserved by Stuart MacFarlane

Article Categories:
Arsenal · Transfer Round-up
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.