Mikel Arteta admits he's a big fan of 27-year-old who Arsenal released on a free transfer
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta admits he's a big fan of 27-year-old who Arsenal released on a free transfer

Mikel Arteta has admitted that he’s a huge fan of former Arsenal player Hector Bellerin – who he allowed to leave the club for free last summer. 

The Gunners have turned their attention to the Europa League as they are set to face Sporting Lisbon in their first test of the knockout stages tonight. 

Arteta is expected to make some changes as he bids to keep Arsenal’s title hopes firmly on track, while competing in Europe. 

The Spaniard is set to come up against a familiar face tonight as Bellerin will be lining up for Sporting. 

The 27-year-old was released from his contract with Arsenal last summer after 11-years at the club. And Arteta has heaped praise on the full-back, admitting that he absolutely ‘loves’ him. 

Photo by Frank Augstein – Pool/Getty Images

Arteta admits he’s a big fan of Bellerin 

Speaking to the media ahead of tonight’s clash in Lisbon, Arteta was asked if he is excited to see Bellerin once again. 

“Regarding Hector: absolutely love the person, love the player; he was a really important player for our club – he left something beyond just his career but as a person in our football club,” the Arsenal boss said. 

“It will be great to see him tomorrow. And I’m sure the boys and the staff are going to be really happy to see him again.” as quoted by Football.London

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Bellerin looked set to have a bright future ahead of him when he first emerged at Arsenal. But the full-back picked up a serious injury during the 2018-19 campaign and just wasn’t the same player thereafter. 

He made the switch to Barcelona over the summer on a free transfer after 11-years in north London. 

His time at the Camp Nou didn’t exactly go according to plan but he is finding his feet once again under Ruben Amorim at Sporting.

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