Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin was chosen by the squad to represent the club in a planned Premier League captain’s meeting following revelations of a proposed European Super League.
The Athletic report that the 26-year-old defender was chosen over club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to represent Arsenal in a meeting of all 20 Premier League captains after it was announced on Sunday that six teams in the English top-flight had agreed to join a breakaway European Super League.
Bellerin was the first Arsenal player to speak out about the planned competition, with the fullback taking to Twitter to remind supporters, and seemingly people above the players at the club, that there is more to football than money, and the values of the Gunners must be kept intact.
A meeting was due to take place today involving all 20 Premier League captains, however, all six Premier League teams formally withdrew from the European Super League last night, meaning such a gathering will no longer be taking place, as reported by David Ornstein.
Bellerin has been at Arsenal since he was a teenager after arriving from Barcelona and has captained the team on many occasions since establishing himself as a senior member of the first team. The right-back in recent weeks, though, has been linked with a transfer away from north London, with Spanish outlet Sport reporting that the Catalonian fullback is eager for a ‘step up’ in his career, with PSG said to be interested.
TBF View: Bellerin deserves credit, but fans should not be so harsh on Aubameyang
The immediate aftermath after this news was announced was disappointedly typical. Whilst Bellerin was praised by some supporters for stepping up to act as an ambassador for the club, Aubameyang was met with ridicule and criticism for not being the man to attend the planned meeting, despite the club captain being admitted into hospital last week after contracting malaria as reported by Sky Sports News.
The Gabon striker temporarily deleted social media (via Sky Sports News) in response to the abuse he had received from so-called Arsenal fans, and today’s news again illustrated the point that companies that govern and control these sites need to do better in protecting players from online trolls for their mental wellbeing.