According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are prepared to sell right-back Hector Bellerin in the summer to fund an overhaul and have named a price of £50m for the Spaniard.
Bellerin is seen as expendable as Arsenal – potentially still managed by Arsene Wenger despite the recent pressure on him to step down – are prepared to listen to offers for him come the summer.
Manchester City were interested last summer and Italian giants Juventus hold a concrete interest and they will be encouraged by Arsenal’s reported willingness to sell.
The price quoted is £50m – which appears to be the new going rate for a lightning fast right-back after City signed Kyle Walker last summer – but it remains to be seen whether Juve, who like to secure a bargain, will stump up the cash.
Bellerin has attracted criticism in recent seasons and there are various reasons for that. He is seen as yet another Arsenal player who wilts under the most extreme pressure.
His fashion choices and attitude off the pitch have also drawn ire from fans who see him as a manifestation of a lot of things wrong with the modern footballer – especially as his form appeared to decline just at the time when his interest was piqued by matters away from the pitch.
Nevertheless, he is a hugely promising prospect. On his best form, he can be one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and he still has plenty of time left to improve. He has three caps for Spain but he will get many more across his career.
Bellerin has come through the ranks at the club and clearly cares about it – that much was obvious when he spoke out against Arsenal Fan TV – and that is the type of young player every club in the division would like to have.
Arsenal have issues across the pitch – the situations at goalkeeper, centre-half and holding midfield are still unreserved – but in Bellerin, they have a long-term solution to a defensive problem. Therefore, selling him, even for £50m with the supposed aim of improvement across the board, makes no sense to me.
There is other deadwood in the Arsenal squad that could be sold to raise the money for an overhaul. Selling a man who could be a fixture for club and country for the next decade doesn’t seem like a wise move.