Mikel Arteta is ready to welcome Hector Bellerín back to the Emirates in the summer.
The Spanish full-back has spent the past season on loan with Real Betis, the club he grew up supporting as a boy, and, last weekend, he helped them win the Spanish Cup, their first trophy in 17 years.
Bellerín has made no secret of his desire to remain in Spain, and there has been speculation that the La Liga side could be ready to make a permanent bid of around £9 million, for a player whose current deal at the Emirates runs until 2023.
However, Mikel Arteta has poured cold water on such rumours by saying “every plan considers that possibility that Bellerín could stay and how they can fit into our team.”
In reality, even if Bellerín were to return, he would face quite a challenge in displacing Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu as the first choice right back, not least because Tomiyasu is able to play a hybrid role as an auxiliary centre-half which is how Arteta likes to set his team up.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.