Today, I shall mostly be talking about:
Specifically in this instance our current right back Hector Bellerin, who it appears to be the worst kept secret that he will be leaving this summer and oddly, everyone with any kind of stake in Arsenal appears to be fine with.
Isn’t it funny when a relationship runs its course and you come to a situation like this. Bellerin has been with us for over a decade, he’s been our first choice right back since he was about 18/19, most people think he comes across as a decent bloke, yet we are all kind of ok with him leaving.
He’s been a good servant to The Arsenal, he’s had a fair few injuries, but last season his form seemed to dwindle a bit and it just ‘feels’ like the right time for both parties to go their separate ways. He’s been a good representative of The Arsenal and how he should find a new challenge. And it feels like most Arsenal fans will be doffing their caps and wishing him well in the process.
I’m trying to remember the last time a player with so much experience, still supposedly in their prime, with a few years on their contract, left the club not under some kind of cloud. Players either tend to leave and we’re disappointed because we didn’t get top dollar, or they leave because their form has tanked (or maybe they just weren’t good enough in the first place), or they leave under a cloud because they’re seeing out their contract, etc. Rarely do you find a situation like this where to all intents and purposes we have a perfectly serviceable right back, with a good four or five years of a career left in him, is moving on and we’ll all still be saying nice things when it’s official.
Perhaps it also speaks to the player. He will always be liked by most of us. He will leave with many happy memories made in an Arsenal shirt.
But leave it appears he will and with Atletico Madrid now also reportedly sniffing around him as an option for replacing Trippier at right back, I think (and hope) it spells good news for The Arsenal. Let’s have him go back to Spain and he don’t have the inevitable twice annual game in which he plays a blinder and sometimes scores against us; a situation bound to happen if he was sold to an English Premier League team.
There’s talk of Juve wanting him and willing to give us back Ramsey plus €8million for Bellerin’s services. I put the question out on my Twitter abs got a pretty decisive “no thanks” but I’d be tempted. Ramsey had his injury problems but getting money and a good player who scores goals from midfield seems like a half decent idea to me. It’s probably not where we want to go given his age profile but it did make me think about it for a few minutes.
Let’s have him head off to Spain but if there are two or three suitors at least it means we can up the bidding war in the process and get some cash into the coffers for a replacement. I have no idea what Bellerin’s value is but given his age and profile I’d hope he could fetch close to the £20million mark in this COVID-depressed market. That sort of figure would be helpful in our pursuit of his replacement and whilst there’s talk of Max Aaron’s from Norwich, it’ll be interesting to see which direction Arsenal go with.
The main reason I say “interesting” is because of the home grown quota. Arsenal are at their limit and having come from our youth team, Bellerin represented one of our home grown players. If we get one in from abroad then we’re essentially looking at one less position in which we can fill with a foreign player. That situation as well as the squad size last summer meant that our over-sized squad had players who just trained and were ineligible to play for us and with a whole summer to ensure that doesn’t happen again, Arteta and Edu simply can’t let that happen.
So maybe in that position we are looking at a UK- based solution? It wouldn’t surprise me and that’s why I can understand the Aarons rumours. The challenge is that there is that English premium arsenal would have to pay and this summer any kind of ‘premium’ is going to hit us even harder than usual.
It all adds up to the complexity of this window and like I was talking about yesterday with Buendia, you can see why all of these rumours about incomings and outgoings are happening quicker than usual: Arsenal can’t afford to hang around with all the work that needs to be done.
Nothing has been done yet though, so we are still in a holding pattern, waiting patiently for the first domino to fall.
Catch you all tomorrow.