Mikel Arteta heaps praise on Arsenal-owned player, he loaned him out in the summer
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Hector Bellerin following his deadline day move to Real Betis. The Gunners boss has told Football London of his love for the player despite shunting him out of the Emirates Stadium exit.
The Spaniard left Arsenal last month, ending a long association with the Gunners. He has joined the club initially on loan, although a permanent deal shouldn’t be completely ruled out.
Bellerin has been with Arsenal for over ten years. He joined the academy from Barcelona and rose through the youth ranks, graduating to the first-team level.
In total, he made 239 appearances for the Gunners, scoring nine goals and registering 29 assists for the club. Now, he embarks on a new adventure in Spain and it’s a move that looks ideal for all parties.
Interestingly, Arteta has spoken fondly on Bellerin. It seems odd that it was seemingly the Arsenal boss who wanted the 26-year-old out of the door in the first place.
He told Football London: “It’s been a long time. It’s been a really important part of everything that’s happened at the club in the last 10 years. He’s an exceptional player, an incredible person and he will be missed.
” To find someone like Hector is not easy, he’s been raised here with us and is loved by everybody at the football club. I had to say goodbye with sadness but at the same time, I had to understand his position.
“He needed a new challenge, he’s needed a new challenge for a while now. After discussions for a long time, we decided to let him go because it was the right thing for him as well.”
Will Arsenal rue Bellerin decision?
It does seem unlikely that they will in all honest. As loyal as he’s been, the time had come for Arsenal to seek a new player at right-back. In Takehiro Tomiyasu they might have found a ready-made heir to the throne.
The Japan international can also operate at centre-back and that sees him have a feather in his cap that Bellerin doesn’t. He will bring more to the team and at 22, he has bags of unearthed potential.
It does seem perhaps peculiar that Arteta has spoken of his admiration for Bellerin. After all, he was responsible for casting him aside from his squad and preferring other options ahead of him.
The Spanish defender earns £110,000-a-week at Arsenal and offloading him, albeit on loan, looks like a wise move by the club.