Arsenal

Mikel Arteta sends strong message to Real Betis loanee over his Arsenal future

Mikel Arteta says Hector Bellerin remains in his Arsenal plans for next season as long as he has a contract with the club.

Bellerin, a former Barcelona academy starlet, arrived in north London in 2011 and spent his entire senior career with the Gunners before joining Real Betis on a season-long loan last summer.

The 27-year-old, a childhood Betis fan, has enjoyed an impressive campaign back in hie homeland, helping the club with the Copa de Rey and still within a chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Reports have suggested Bellerin favours a permanent move this summer rather than returning to Arsenal.

But Arteta has suggested the right-back will be in his plans should he head back to north London.

‘Any player with a contractual obligation with us is our player and considered our player,’ Arteta told a press conference on Friday.

‘So every plan is considering that possibility [that Bellerin stays] and how they can fit into the team.’

Bellerin is playing under former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini at Betis. While his long-term future remains uncertain, Arsenal legend Robert Pires spoke to the full-back about the move last summer and is delighted to see him thriving back in Spain.

LaLiga ambassador Pires, speaking on behalf of LiveScore, said: ‘Hector Bellerin has had a good impact at Real Betis. He’s a professional.

‘For him at the end with Arsenal it was difficult to find a position, so he chose to join La Liga, especially Real Betis.

‘He called me and asked me about the manager, Manuel Pellegrini, who was my manager at Villarreal.

‘I said Hector, look, if you have the opportunity to play with Pellegrini you need to go, because you will enjoy it.

‘The most important thing is to enjoy your football. Not just playing the game itself, of course that’s important. But also, every morning, being at Real Betis, going in to the club.

‘Hector Bellerin has a lot of experience at a high level and I’m happy for him that he is at Real Betis.’

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