Benched Arsenal star ready to quit The Emirates in the summer
Hector Bellerin is set to call time on his Arsenal career just one season short of his earning a testimonial with the club.
The signed his first professional contract with the club in 2012 after arriving the previous year from Barcelona, aged 16. He is the Gunners’ longest-serving player. The right-back has gone on to play 238 times for the club, but recently he has struggled to get game time. The 26-year-old was at the forefront of Mikel Arteta’s thinking earlier in the campaign. However, more recently the Spaniard has been left on the bench with Calum Chambers getting the nod in his position.
In fact Bellerin has made only two league appearances since Arsenal were beaten by Manchester City on February 21.
The Arsenal man was hammered on social media after needlessly kicking the ball out of play against City.
Arsenal legend Tony Adams picked out Bellerin as a weak link in October after another defeat against Man City: “I think he’s got problems with Hector, I think his defending today wasn’t very good at all.”
And now Calciomercato.it, via Sport Witness, report Bellerin is “ready to leave” The Emirates.
It is reported that PSG have a “strong interest” in Bellerin. Mauricio Pochettino is said to be having doubts over redeeming Alessandro Florenzi, who is currently on loan from Roma.
PSG though do have other options. They do not want to solely rely on a move for Bellerin, in case Arsenal set the bar too high.
Tottenham defender Serge Aurier is another one of their targets, but apparently not everyone at Parc des Princes is sure about a return for the 28-year-old.
Bellerin though does have other options with the Italian outlet claiming Juventus and Inter Milan are interested in him.
No “concrete negotiations” have transpired as yet though, but the Serie A duo remain keen.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Pepe has been told his work-rate must improve dramatically and he needs to stop “wandering” his way through matches, with Bukayo Saka’s brilliant displays showing him exactly what must be done.
The Ivorian winger joined the Gunners in a club-record £72m deal from Lille in summer 2019. Now in his second season with Arsenal, he scored his 12th of the season as West Brom were beaten to confirm their relegation.
That lit up an otherwise difficult week for the Gunners, who missed out on the Europa League final after a tepid draw with Villarreal.
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Pepe’s goal, to be fair, was a good one. He cut inside and fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
But Joe Cole, in his role as a pundit for BT Sport, says there was not much else on offer from Pepe. He wants the Ivorian to stop going missing in games. Cole also says he can learn a great deal from fellow Gunners star Saka.
“He plays in fits and starts Pepe,” Cole said on BT Sport.
“We’ve got a great angle up here and we were watching him, and he was so lacklustre.”
Looking at the display of Saka on the other flank, Cole said the youngster shows Pepe exactly what’s needed.
“Compare him to Saka on the other side who was full of energy and was vibrant.
“Pepe was wandering, after 30 minutes we were questioning what he was on the pitch for. But he has got the quality and that’s why you pay £70m for him because he can do things like that. You just need to see it more often.”
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