Full back Hector Bellerin has played down summer speculation over his future by claiming Arsenal is where he wants to be ‘right now’. However, the three-cap Spain international also admitted that his boyhood club Barcelona will always be in his heart.
The 23-year-old defender has become something of an adopted Londoner since moving from Catalonia to the Arsenal youth team in 2011, affirming his credentials as a true Brit with talks at the Oxford Union and jibes at Piers Morgan.
Now in an interview with Mr Porter (as previewed by the Evening Standard), Bellerin claimed to be ‘so happy’ with the Gunners, effectively ruling out any chance of an exit this summer at least.
He said: “This has been my home for seven years. I sound like a Londoner, my friends are from London – it’s the place I want to be right now.”
The addendum ‘right now’ may be cause for concern for some Arsenal supporters, with Bellerin regularly linked with a move back to Barcelona – a path previously (and painfully for Gunners fans) taken by the Cesc Fabregas.
He continued: “In the future, you never know. Obviously, I grew up in Barcelona, and when I watch them play I want them to win. The team are always going to be in my heart.”
In the interview, Bellerin also spoke about his own career trajectory. After bursting onto the scene as one of the world’s most exciting players in his position, he has often struggled to find his best form in 2017/18. He cited ‘negativity’ around the team as a contributing factor to his own dip in performance levels and called this season ‘tough’.
“At the beginning, I was someone who was doing really well,” he added. “Then when things started going not that well, everything was just negative, negative, negative.
“As a team, if you don’t have the best season, it doesn’t help…It’s been a tough one.
“We were doing well until November. We always have that period where we suffer a little bit. As a team, the most important thing is results. If you can win beautifully like [Manchester] City do – even better.”