Hector Bellerin is hopefully his loan spell with Real Betis will turn into a longer affair with the defender unlikely to return to Arsenal again.

Hector Bellerin of Real Betis in action during the Liga match between Granada CF and Real Betis at Nuevo Los Carmenes Stadium on September 13, 2021, in Granada, Spain. Copyright: Jose M. Baldomero
Hector Bellerin of Real Betis in action during the Liga match between Granada CF and Real Betis at Nuevo Los Carmenes Stadium on September 13, 2021, in Granada, Spain. Copyright: Jose M. Baldomero

Hector Bellerin left Arsenal on loan in the summer and, although it wasn’t a permanent deal, few of us expect to ever see him in an Arsenal shirt again.

Still only 26, Bellerin has a lot of football left in his legs and, if he gets his own way, he will be playing a good bit of it for his father’s club, Real Betis.

“I don’t know [about my future plans],” Bellerin said in an interview with El Desmarque, “but I’ve always said it: “If I didn’t want to be here next year, I wouldn’t have come from the beginning.”

“There are many things to be decided but what I want to do is enjoy the year that I am here. And what has to happen will happen.

“It is clear that money is something important, because it is our job,” he added.

“But I think that in football, that love of sport, of the club, is being lost. And for me, after having understood and had that feeling since childhood, there are things you put ahead [of money].

“This year-and-a-half that has just passed has made us rethink many things.

“For me and for everyone it was an effort to carry out the operation not only from the point of view of money and how much it cost us to get here.

“In the end, those efforts pay off and I had other priorities when making my decision.”

In another interview in September, Bellerin elaborated on why he wanted to play for Betis in the first place.

“Two weeks before the end of the market it seemed complicated, but it became a reality. Football is not just money, sentiment is very important,” Bellerin told ABC Sevilla.

“For me, having the opportunity to be here is where I want to be. I face the challenge with great enthusiasm and football does not only depend on the player. I will live from day to day.

“It is a feeling that my father has instilled since I was little. As a child I was a bit of a turncoat, but he forced me to wear the Betis shirt. Being able to make my father happy with a dream that is his, and fulfilling it for him makes me very excited,” Bellerín explained.

About Bellerin leaving on loan, Mikel Arteta said at the time, “To find someone like Hector is not easy, he’s been raised here with us and is loved by everyone at the football club.

“I had to say goodbye with sadness but at the same time, I had to understand his position.

“He needed a new challenge, he’s needed a new challenge for a while now. After discussions for a long time we decided to let him go because it was the right thing for him as well.

“He always told me about playing one day at Betis, we had talked about it,” he added.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.