The Catalan press have started it. The inevitable chase of Hector Bellerin. They want him, and why wouldn’t they? He’s a Barcelona boy, he’s really good, and they need a long-term solution for the right-back position.
There’ll be talk of DNA, and how his DNA is Barcelona DNA and when you have that DNA there’s only one place for it and that’s Barcelona, because that’s where Barcelona DNA belongs.
Some Barcelona players will suggest he needs to come home. They will send Xavi to his house holding up a boombox playing a Peter Gabriel song to show how much they love him.
It will be relentless and interminable. We’ve been here before, of course, and it all feels quite familiar. That said, Bellerin signed a new contract with the club just last year, and if Arsenal have any sense at all they’ll be offering him new terms – but his current deal expires in 2019, so there’s that.
Then there’s the fact Hector feels right at home in London and at Arsenal. Speaking last year, he said, “I came to Arsenal to stay here, I’m not thinking about going back. I’m happy and I’m playing. It’s my fifth season and I feel like this is my home. I see it as very difficult to leave.”
Arsenal have already warded off interest from Man City in the 21 year old, giving short shrift to an approach from Pep Guardiola this summer.
So, unless something happens that completely turns his head, it’s all paper talk at this moment in time. It might well be a case they want him, and are using their friendly press to add some pressure to the situation, but Arsenal are in a strong position and Bellerin is happy in North London.
For now, we’re going with the full 10 on the poo-o-meter.