Hector Bellerin’s agent has confirmed that the defender’s decision to leave Arsenal was not just about the club.

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 this summer but nobody expects to see him in an Arsenal shirt again.

Back in September, the player told reporters that “Football is not just money, sentiment is very important,” still, people want to know why he was so keen to leave Arsenal.

Surely there must be some gossip there somewhere? Did he have a falling out with Arteta? Maybe if we keep asking the same question, someone will finally tell us the truth!

The truth is Bellerin just wanted a change, which is understandable after 10 years with Arsenal, who are a totally different entity now than the one he signed for from Barcelona.

He also had to consider the impact of his knee injury that certainly seems to have robbed him of some of his pace.

“After 10 years, Hector had in his mind that it was the right time to change,” Albert Botines, Bellerin’s agent since he was 14 said.

LA ROCHELLE, FRANCE - JUNE 10:  Hector Bellerin of Spain faces the media during a press conference on June 10, 2016 in La Rochelle, France.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
LA ROCHELLE, FRANCE – JUNE 10: Hector Bellerin of Spain faces the media during a press conference on June 10, 2016 in La Rochelle, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

“But it wasn’t only about Arsenal, it was also about the Premier League, about the country, about everything.

“He moved when he was 16 from Barca to Arsenal, from Spain to England. During the Covid-19 time without his family, he was so alone in north London. Only training, then going home. He had more time to think about it and he thought this was the right time to move on.

“He was more focused on going to Italy or Spain because he felt like it was the right time to go to those leagues,” Botines added.

“There were many opportunities during the market.

“Sometimes, it seemed like something could get agreed, but then it changed. It was a really long market.

“He was really happy to go there [to Real Betis],” said Botines.

Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin

“He is from Seville and Betis is like a religion. It’s difficult to explain but when somebody from your family is Betis, you feel like it’s your club and he was really happy to get this opportunity.

“It was difficult because [of] the money. They needed to make many things [happen] on the last day and put one player from the first team into the second team to have a free licence.

“Then, they needed to wait for La Liga approval about how much money they could afford for the player. We were finishing at 11pm on the last day, so it was long.”

Botines added: “He was very emotional because it is a club from La Liga and it’s a club who the people love. He felt from his father and from his family that Betis is their club, so it was very emotional.

Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta (L) and Spanish defender Hector Bellerin (R) attend a training session at the London Colney, North London, on November 3, 2014, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Arsenal and Anderlecht. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta (L) and Spanish defender Hector Bellerin (R) attend a training session at the London Colney, North London, on November 3, 2014, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Arsenal and Anderlecht. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

“But also he was happy because the club is doing well and they play the Europa League this season. So, we thought that it was a very good opportunity to go there. It was the right time.”

The story from all parties has been fairly consistent – Bellerin simply wanted a change. Even Mikel Arteta said the same when he was asked about it all at the start of the season.

Given his views on life, it’s not surprising, as mentioned, Bellerin wanted out of the UK, too, and who wouldn’t swap the rain for Spain if they could?

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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.