Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin is being linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season. The Spaniard was said to have been on Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain’s radars last year but a move failed to materialise.
Recent reports suggest there is a gentleman’s agreement in place between Bellerin and Mikel Arteta that will allow him to move on at the end of this current campaign after he was persuaded to stay for one more year by his manager.
Given he is the first choice right-back at the club, this summer feels like the right time to cash in on the 25-year-old.
Reading between the lines and taking into account the aforementioned report, it seems as though the player himself feels ready to move on after nearly a decade in north London. The Gunners, like many others, also find themselves in a position where they need to sell to buy – especially given the prospect of missing out on European football altogether next season is a real one.
Arsenal have very few sellable assets the fans would accept losing, but given Bellerin divides opinion among many supporters. And as there seems to be an interest from PSG as well as former club Barcelona, moving the player on might be best for all parties.
The Spaniard’s current contract with the club is due to expire in June 2023 and with a healthy length of time still remaining on it, it feels like a good time to sell the player for maximum value. Last summer, it was reported PSG made an offer worth in the region of £25m for the player and given the current circumstances, a transfer fee in that region could then be used to address more pressing needs in the squad.
Cedric Soares has played a fair amount of football recently, mostly covering at left-back for the injured Kieran Tierney, but has shown he is capable of coming into the side and doing a solid job – and some would prefer to see him start at right-back regularly instead.
Arsenal have needed to get creative in the transfer market recently, signing both Martin Odegaard and Maty Ryan on loan during the January window due to a lack of finances available, and therefore you can understand the need to cash in on one of their assets to move forward.
Bellerin is often criticised by sections of the Arsenal faithful for performances that may not warrant him being the club’s first-choice right-back anyway.
But the reality for the Gunners is that they’ll need to raise money this summer in order to fund the continuation of Arteta’s rebuild, and so parting ways with the defender feels a sensible move.