Will jet-heeled Arsenal man follow same path as Fabregas?
Appreciators of simple maths might well see a mooted move by Barcelona for Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin as the sum of two plus two.
Even when leaving the Catalan connection to one side of this uncomplicated equation – 21-year-old Bellerin is a graduate of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy – arriving at four isn’t difficult.
The Spanish champions are in the market for a top quality replacement for Dani Alves after their long-serving right-back joined Juventus.
Widely recognised as the best attacking full-back plying his trade in Europe over the past decade, Alves leaves a gaping chasm in the right side of Luis Enrique’s team after clocking up eight years of service.
Bellerin’s career may be embryonic in comparison, but there are few more promising right-backs in world football more able to fill the void in the long term than the lightning-quick Arsenal man.
The youngest member of the PFA Team of the Year 2015/16 thanks to a very fine season for the Premier League runners-up, the Spaniard seems destined for a lengthy and distinguished career, it just depends where.
Cesc Fabregas certainly couldn’t resist the lure of home when the La Masia product turned Arsenal captain eventually returned to Barcelona’s bosom in 2011.
Perhaps Arsene Wenger will use Fabregas’ mixed personal fortunes with the European juggernauts as a way of dissuading Bellerin should firm interest arrive from the Camp Nou in the coming months.
Fabregas at least devoted eight seasons to the north Londoners before answering the call and Arsenal’s young defender may well feel he owes the Gunners and Wenger more than one exceptional campaign.
The price is also likely to be very high indeed given Bellerin only penned a Gunners deal just over 12 months ago and was reportedly valued at £43m by CIES Football Observatory at the start of the current transfer window.
Arsenal fans will be hoping such a valuation will be enough of a deterrent.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.