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Opinion: Arsenal 'key figure' has probably played his last game for the Gunners

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has been ruled out of the Gunners’ final Premier League game of the season.

The 25-year-old sustained bruising to the bone in the lower leg during last week’s match at Chelsea, and missed out on the 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace.

There was a possibility that Bellerin could return for Sunday’s Premier League finale against Brighton, but Mikel Arteta has now confirmed that he won’t feature.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“Hector is not fit [for Sunday] so he will not be playing the last time,” he told the Arsenal media team. “Like everybody that has a contract, he remains here.”

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Bellerin has been linked with a departure from Arsenal for a number of months now.

ESPN reported back in February that the Spaniard wanted to quit the Gunners at the end of last season when Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona emerged as serious options.

However, he stayed in wake of heart-to-heart talks with Arteta, with whom he has a close relationship from their playing days at the club, added the outlet.

ESPN also claimed that in discussions last year, the Arsenal boss asked Bellerin to give the club one more season and in return, they would consider an exit this summer.

Apparently both club and player feel that, with two years left on his contract, this summer represents the right time to move on.

Bellerin has been at Arsenal since 2011, when he joined the academy from Barcelona’s La Masia, and has gone on to make 239 competitive appearances for the Gunners.

Arteta has referred to him as a “key figure” at Arsenal, a popular player in the dressing room with “special feelings towards the club”.

Bellerin may have split opinion amongst Gunners fans in recent years but, if he does leave this summer, it’d be a real shame that he won’t get to play in front of the supporters one last time.

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