Keeping defender out of Barca clutches imperative for Arsenal
It’s not very often a full-back comes along who marries attacking and defensive qualities so effortlessly, especially an extremely quick one to boot.
Throw into the mix that Hector Bellerin’s best years are most probably yet to come and Arsenal’s need to tie down their first-choice right-back to an improved Emirates contract is amplified.
The Spanish raider, who made the 2015/16 Premier League Team of the Year, is once again performing extremely consistently this season, making two successive dribbles and interceptions per game on average,
Aged only 21, Bellerin’s future, as it is right now, has been a hot topic for debate.
Rumours are afoot that the Barcelona native is stalling on a contract extension and although he still has two years left on his current Arsenal deal, phrases such as “weighing up his options” will not make for pleasant reading among the club’s fans.
The Times have reported Bellerin could be open to a switch to either Manchester City (a well worn path of Arsenal full-backs past) or indeed, returning to Barcelona, the club he left as a boy to sign up in north London.
The biggest task for Arsene Wenger is convincing his young charge that the Gunners are finally ready to challenge for the game’s top honours on both domestic and European fronts, as those clubs who would happily lure him away obviously are.
Given Arsenal’s blistering recent form, that task does become slightly more manageable for the Frenchman.
Wenger’s men have shot up to third in the Premier League thanks to five straight victories, and built on a Champions League point at PSG by sweeping Basel aside at the end of September in their second Group A outing.
If Arsenal are to actually win either of those elusive competitions, though, having Bellerin along for the ride is essential.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing