Héctor Bellerín has joined Spanish side Real Betis on loan for the remainder of the season. Arsenal had initially hoped to use Bellerín as a makeweight in a deal to bring Emerson Royal to the club from Barcelona, however, their €15m fee with Bellerín included was not enough to entice the Catalans and Arsenal have since turned their attentions to Bologna full-back, Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Bellerín has endured a torrid time at the club since returning from injury under Unai Emery. He has failed to appear in any of Arsenal’s first-team selections this season and was replaced by Calum Chambers last season.
His time at the club is an inspirational one however.
Bellerín initially broke into the first team following a suspension to Calum Chambers and an injury to Mathieu Debuchy. From there, Bellerín was instrumental in heloing the club win their second FA Cup in two years.
Before that, Bellerín had been a part of the La Masia academy in Barcelona, before switching to North London. From there, Bellerín has been loaned out to Watford for one season.
Since then, Bellerín has been Arsenal’s main choice of right-back. Following Arsène Wenger’s departure, he was given the number 2 shirt and was made one of the many vice-captains under Unai Emery.
Bellerín was in top form for Emery and looked like a man reborn, however, disaster struck when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against Chelsea.
Since returning, his form has taken something of a nosedive and produced a considerable drop-off in quality (as these injuries often do).
He his no longer first choice under former captain turned manager Mikel Arteta and he has been looking for a move all summer.
Interest in Bellerín reportedly came from a number of clubs including Inter Milan, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, however, Bellerín was only keen to return to Spain for either Barcelona or Real Betis, having grown up a Real Betis fan.
Arsenal will hope that Bellerín receives plenty of game time while at Real Betis and is able to return in form or with his value significantly inflated.