Arsenal have announced that Spanish right-back Héctor Bellerín has left the club to join Barcelona in La Liga. Despite reports to the contrary, Arsenal have not terminated Bellerín’s deal, rather, they have wavered a transfer fee, allowing Bellerín to leave the club.
The club are not the only ones to be wavering any payments. Bellerín has waived any additional payments or bonuses due to him by Arsenal in order to make the move permanent.
Arsenal have included a 25% sell-on clause in the transfer agreement, however, given that Bellerín is only signing a one-year deal with Barcelona (without an optional extension clause for the club), that clause may mean very little in the long-run.
Bellerín was originally signed by Arsenal from Barcelona’s coveted La Masia academy, and will now return to his boyhood club, where he is expected to replace the outgoing Sergiño Dest.
Bellerín is not in the plans of manager Mikel Arteta, however, he still played a small part in the club’s recent USA tour.
Bellerín’s time at Arsenal has been a source of huge inspiration to many young footballers.
Originally educated at the famous La Masia academy in Barcelona, Bellerín made the switch to north London after he grew disillusioned with the chance of making it into the Barcelona first team.
Bellerín was part of the Arsenal youth team that reached fourth place in the NextGen Series of 2012-2013 and was then loaned to Watford on a two-month loan deal.
Though Bellerín made his debut in the third round of the League Cup tie away to West Bromwich Albion, he did not establish himself in the first team until a year later.
Initially, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers were favoured as the club’s starting right-back, however, an unlucky combination of suspensions and injuries, meant that Bellerín was called into the first team.
Over the course of the season, Bellerín broke out as one of the club’s most exciting prospects and even started in the 2015 FA Cup final, as Arsenal thrashed Aston Villa 0-4, and was rewarded with a new long-term contract.
Despite his initial early promise, Bellerín’s form began to dip. Despite this, he was still the subject of much renewed interest from former-club Barcelona, who made repeated attempts to sign the player, however, Arsène Wenger resisted the temptation to cash in on the player.
When Wenger stepped down in 2018, Bellerín was a prominent squad member for Unai Emery, taking the coveted number 2 shirt.
Unfortunately, Bellerín’s season was cut-short after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left-knee, with his absence arguably a major factor in Arsenal’s down turn in form.
Upon his return, it was fair to say that Bellerín was not the same player. The blistering pace that had so defined his early years at the club, was replaced by a perceived caution and a lack of strength against tougher opponents.
After a fairly unimpressive 2020/21 season, Bellerín spent last season on loan at Real Betis, the team he has supported ever since he was young and who many thought he would be joining permanently this summer.
Though he did not score any goals last season, he did still grab himself 5 assists in all competitions and a single red card. Bellerín was also deployed as a right-midfielder at one point.
For many, Bellerín’s departure is one that will sting. Though undoubtedly not the same player that initially broke into the team as a youngster, he has always been a fan favourite.
A total professional, exceptional human being and arguably one of the club’s greatest success stories from Hale End.
Bellerín’s move is one of the final outgoings scheduled for deadline day, with Miguel Azeez joining UD Ibiza on loan and Ainsley Maitland-Niles joining Southampton on loan, while the club also focuses on potential incomings with Palmeiras’ midfielder’ Danilo and Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz both thought to be of interest.