Arsenal: Hector Bellerin opens transfer window and praises Mikel Arteta

Hector Bellerin thanked Mikel Arteta for sanctioning his Arsenal departure (Image: Getty)

Hector Bellerin has opened up about his decision to leave Arsenal and thanks to Mikel Arteta’s ‘understanding’ for sanctioning his move to Real Betis on loan.

Bellerin has been a mainstay at Arsenal for almost a decade, with the Spaniard making more than 200 appearances for the Gunners after making his way to the first team in 2014.

For three consecutive seasons, Bellerin played more than 40 games for the club but injuries and poor form became an issue as he ended his time at Arsenal.

Bellerin asked to leave the club last summer and Arteta agreed to him, when the 26-year-old signed a one-season loan deal with La Liga side Real Betis.

The former Barcelona academy player is returning to Spain and has explained his motivations for leaving Arsenal in an interview with Gunners legend Ian Wright.

Speaking on Podcasts of Wrighty’s HouseBellerin said: ‘I’m lucky because Mikel is a very understanding person. Mikel knows it has nothing to do with football or the club.

‘As humans we go through cycles and it’s not because I don’t want to play there anymore, it’s just because this isn’t helping us.

Bellerin has made more than 200 appearances for the Gunners (Image: Getty)

‘When I knew that wasn’t where I needed to be at the time, nothing worked and Mikel really understood that. He knows everything I went through at Arsenal, my injuries, every episode.

‘I’m very fortunate to have been able to open up to him and we were able to have a conversation that he fully understands. He said, “I want to help you”. Not only as a coach but also as a friend.

“ We have the same respect as everyone there and I’m delighted Arsenal gave me the opportunity to find what I was looking for. You can see at that point it didn’t work for any of us.

‘In my head it was clear what I needed and I’m happy it accomplished itself. I’m happy.’

Arsenal have impressed for the most part this season and Bellerin says the team are doing ‘fantastic’ and has also praised his replacement Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Arsenal have recovered from a bad start to the season (Image: Getty)

Arteta is fighting for his job after Arsenal lost their first three games of the season without scoring, but results are coming soon and the Gunners are now firmly in the race for the top four.

Bellerin added: ‘Arsenal are doing fantastically and that makes me very happy. The players they have in my position are doing very well.

‘There’s really no hard feelings for me. It’s nice to watch because I watch every game and I want the boys to do well.

‘That’s just the way football is. You need to see what’s best for you and the club. I always say to the club, if I leave this place, I don’t want to leave you, like anyone in my position, or in a position when you guys aren’t in the best condition.

‘I want the best for all of us because I’ve been here 10 years and I love the place. It works for everyone and that’s what shows me it’s the right thing to do. I’m really happy to see the boys doing well. ‘

Real Betis is currently third in La Liga, 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid. Arsenal, meanwhile, are fifth in the Premier League and face Burnley this weekend after Thursday’s EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool.

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. Arsenal: Hector Bellerin opens transfer window and praises Mikel Arteta

John Verrall

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