Sunday, April 21, 2024

Confirmed: Hector Bellerin joins Barcelona on a free transfer

Arsenal have confirmed that Hector Bellerin has left the club after 11 years to join Barcelona.

The Spain international returns to his former club for free on a one-year deal having reportedly waived any payments owed by the Gunners. He is also taking a big pay cut.

It’s claimed Edu has inserted a 25% sell-on clause in the defender’s contract, presumably in case he leaves the Camp Nou in the January transfer window or extends his deal.

Lured to London by Arsene Wenger in 2011, Hector appeared 239 times for the Gunners making 29 assists and scoring nine goals. He was a member of three FA Cup and Community Shield winning squads and earned a place in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year in 2015/16.

At his peak, he was breathtakingly quick – an attribute that proved very useful at right-back – but he seemed to lose a yard of pace and a bit of confidence following a ruptured ACL injury in January 2019 that kept him sidelined for eight months. Other injuries followed and he didn’t properly regain his place until Mikel Arteta took over as manager a year later.

During the pandemic, he represented his teammates in talks with the club about voluntary pay cuts and attended meetings with Premier League captains to discuss the response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Feminist, vegan, environmentalist, Bojo basher, fashionista; his interests were many, varied and hilariously boiled the piss of middle-aged Nissan Datsun drivers.

In a riposte to anyone who suggested those things were a distraction from his day job, when he moved to Real Betis on loan last year he thrived, not just playing regularly but winning the Copa del Rey.

If he’d had his way, he’d have returned to Seville this summer but their financial complications meant that wasn’t possible. We hope things go well for him at Camp Nou but wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up at Real Betis soon enough.

Mikel Arteta had this to say about Hector: “We today say goodbye to Hector and we thank him so much for his loyalty and commitment to Arsenal Football Club. During his 11 years with Arsenal, Hector won three FA Cups and made nearly 250 appearances – such a huge contribution to the club. I’m privileged to have played in the same squad as Hector for three seasons, wearing the Arsenal shirt and sharing many great moments on and off the football pitch together. We thank you Hector and wish you and your family all the best for your return to Barcelona.”

Hector, adios sweet prince, we’ll miss your Spockney twang.

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Gunnar Eli Sigurjónsson

All the best


All the best Heccy, if you read arseblog comments, just know I always loved your personality and quirks. Refreshing to have a player such as yourself every once in a while, I’ll never forget that goal in our 4-1 win against Liverpool.


This is sad really. Shame he didn’t go down as one of the true legends of our club.


How have we not got money for him? He had a great year at Betis has years of experience in the champions league and is only 27. Criminal especially as Barca have just sold Aubameyang.


Just no market for him, he actually took a paycut to leave, which essentially means his transfer value was negative, he sucked that up to get it done.

Good luck Hector!

Vaibhav Pandey

Top tier clubs who say they are broke are lying through their teeth!


Well, not correct to compare different deals, but we sold Auba for nothing, Barca sold him for 14m plus Alonso who worths 12m. AND everyone knew Barca can’t keep Auba since they have bought Lewa.
Same will happen with Hector. They will make profit out of him, no doubt.


It’s hard to take, but we are climbing out of that hole now. We were a Europa club team with champions league wages. The new structure and hopefully a champions league place should make us a heavy weight again

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

We needed a winger and a CM but nothing. Hope this doesn’t cost us.


It fucking will.

Arteta and Edu have learnt nothing from the debacle of the last transfer window in January. WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH QUALITY IN-DEPTH!!!

We are in 4 major competitions and needed quality cover for almost every position. When the injuries come we’ll be relying on second-rate players.

If we don’t finish top four then both Arteta and Edu must go!!

Merlin’s Panini

We signed five players this summer and all of them are upgrades. Let’s see how things pan out before throwing our toys out the pram. We’re top of the league after five games and have one or two new players who have hardly had a kick yet.
And the good thing with injuries is that people recover from them. Let’s see where we’re at in January and after the World Cup. That will be the indicator of whether we need to buy again. If we go buying players now they can easily get injured at the World Cup too.


Look on the bright side mate. When Vieira finally gets to play, he’s gonna be LANS!

Arsenal are following Liverpools strategy of not building a team to compete once but to continually compete. It’s tough to take when you want evert position to have backup but when that decision stops you getting a generational talent like Bellingham/ or danielo in the next window we will just have to suck it up. For the price Villa we’re trying to get us to go to we might get him and Tielemans for less in Jan with 6 months left in their contracts


I’m hopeful but a bit concerned.

As it stands, we have a only a 23 squad player.

We need to add at least a keeper and a midfielder from the Academy just to make up 25. We have to subtract 1 player Elneny, who has a long term injury ( unlikely to be back before the next window opens) and two players, Zinch and Partey (who have missed and will be missing a few more games, possibly until the international break).

The academy U21 is also threadbare 12 official players and 16 on loan.


If someone had told me 4 years ago that we would leave Hector for free I would have been shocked.

Never understood why he stopped developing. At least his move back to Spain hopefully makes him happy.
All the best Hector!


Injuries and everything else


I reckon he fell out with Arteta because there is no way Cedric is a better RB/Wing back than him.


Arteta on Hector re their conversation last night –

“I love the kid, I love what he’s done for the club, he’s someone that I have really strong feelings about and I wish him all the best because I know that it’s one of his dreams to play there.
Hopefully he can fulfil his dream and get his career back to where he can because he’s still very young and has a lot he can do.”


Adios my favourite player of all time. He was a gentleman, and an example to follow. He’ll always hold a special place in our Arsenal hearts


No more foul throws.



Merlin’s Panini

Haha 😂 kind of ungrateful for the eleven year’s service but that will be what I remember his final season playing with us for. Those were unfortunately a constant feature of his game. Perhaps that was a sign of stagnation though. He needed a change. He never looked quite as assured after his big injury or after Wenger left. I wish him well at Barcelona even if I don’t wish them well as a club. I would have refused to sell him to them just to make them beg. “Ok you can have him if you say, “We’re dirty little… Read more »


Thanks, Hector. You are a legend to me!


Adios amigo, buenas suerte!

A good example of how one should behave. Smart move to add a “sell on clause” into this deal Edu.

We didn’t get Luiz but who cares, we move!


Big love bro. No-one else quite like you! You are an absolute credit to yourself and the club.
Please dont break my heart and join Chelsea next season


Love Hector Bellerin.
Good luck to you, sir.


Can anyone explain why Arsenal owed him payment?


Because he had a contract, so as opposed to paying his contract off, it was just terminated.

At any other club, this wouldn’t be a benefit, but remember we’ve literally done that for a fair few players to clean up the mess.


Usually players will have loyalty bonuses built into their contracts where they receive a payment for each year of the contact they complete. So on top of his £120k pw wages we’ve saved, he has also forgone any remaining bonuses we may owe/will owe him.


That make senses. Thanks for the answer. Dont understand why others thumb down my simple question tho 🤔


Don’t worry about the votes 😀

He was owed money and is taking a pay cut, his transfer value was negative.

To move him on for free is a better-than-market-value deal for Arsenal.

Emi Rates

Thank you for the years you gave us, Hector. All the best!

John Bussey

I remember a line from a blog in Hector’s first year: “He’s like a young dog that I hope never grows old”. It was after a game in which he had an incredible recovery tackle. Making up 20 meters on some dude. Amazing. I went out the next day and bought his shirt – as an American fan who came to Arsenal in 2007 it was my first and – until the Odegaard one I just picked up – only. I hope he has a couple more good years in Spain. And then, even more, I hope he has a… Read more »


Great human all round! Pity the major injuries had such an impact on his playing career with us. Could have become a legend. All the best!


Can’t think of anyone who’s better represented the club or understood it’s values. All the very best Hector.


Weird way of spelling Betis…you know, the “only” team he wanted to join. We know how this plays out now, Barca let his contract expire thus the sell on clause expires then conveniently announce on 1st July that his signed a new 5 year deal with a €1bn release clause before selling him to Betis 3 weeks later for £25m

Death by 300,000 Passes

Great right back, amazing professional and role-model as a person.
A Gooner. A legend.

All the best in your journey ahead, My Captain!


I’m genuinely sad to see him gone not as a player but a brilliant human being. In my world he remains a legend and someone who represented the values of humanity superbly.
His career may not carried for the Arsenal how he or many of us would have wanted but what a pro he has been. All the best HB.

Bill Hall

A fantastic player on his day and a fantastic person, I wish him all the very best and hope he is able to return to Betis, sooner rather than later!


He has messed up his career big time. I bet he is facing mental health issues. Otherwise can’t see any reason for such a downfall. He is definitely good enough to compete for a position in the Arsenal squad but he seems to totally have lost his spark. I am also on a similar career curve due to my mental health issues, so can say the above with some confidence. Making one poor moves in my life after other.


Great player before injuries took its toll, always a great guy and a reflection of the values we see in the club. Not a great deal for us as I said before and really hope someone takes Barcas number out of the roller deck. I hope he has a blinder and Barca win nothing. May also need some sort of structure change/ new faces to manage outgoings. Surprised its not more of a red flag in higher management.


Genuinely sad, always rooted for the bloke and feels like a real end of an era. Even if that era was maddening at times!


The bottom line is that Arsenal will only start to get transfer fees when they sell players that people actually want enough to pay real money for.
Our outgoing players in the last few seasons virtually all underperformed for five years and more and were on scandalously prohibitive wages. Including Hector I’m afraid…


add to that they were on inflated wages

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