Bellerin left Arsenal to join Real Betis on loan in a deadline-day transfer deal and has revealed why he departed the Emirates on loan for the rest of the season
The 26-year-old swapped north London for Seville on transfer deadline day and completed a loan deal to link up with Manuel Pellegrini ‘s men for the 2021-22 season.
The Spaniard has been a Gunner since 2012 and has only made one prior temporary switch.
Bellerin fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta and when versatile right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu signed for £17 million from Bologna, he returned to his homeland.
He chose Betis, the club his father supported, who face Celtic in their Europa League group stage opener on Thursday.
Were Arsenal right to let Bellerin leave on loan? Comment your thoughts below.
Speaking ahead of their match against Granada on Monday, Bellerin was asked about facing Ange Postecoglou’s side.
The defender commented: “To play against Celtic will be special because they’re such a big club with a big history.
“Celtic will be a tough rival but I’m optimistic. At Betis, we’re obliged to get the three points.
“We have already watched the derby against Rangers [which Celtic lost 1-0] and that result puts pressure on Celtic.
Bellerin then lifted the lid on his decision to leave Arsenal by saying: “If we can dominate the ball against them, we can get the win we need.
“I’ve left Arsenal to win things with Real Betis. I’m not here for a holiday.”
Part of his decision to choose the La Liga side was down to analysts, according to The Athletic.
Having consulted with data company Analytics FC, Bellerin believed that Pellegrini and co could best help him turn his career around and make the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Barcelona-born full-back said upon signing: “Many things are talked about in the market and my father always said that he had to go to Betis, that dream was fulfilled and he is a person who lived it since he was little, and who has instilled it in everyone.
“For me, having that very good relationship with him and being able to make him happy, with a dream, makes me very excited.
He added: “I wanted the sun and heat, but I didn’t come here on vacation, but to fight for my position.”
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was asked about the decision to let Bellerin go out on loan and responded: “To find someone like Hector is not easy, he’s been raised here with us and is loved by everyone at the football club.
“I had to say goodbye with sadness but at the same time, I had to understand his position,” Arteta explained.
“He needed a new challenge, he’s needed a new challenge for a while now. After discussions for a long time we decided to let him go because it was the right thing for him as well.
“He always told me about playing one day at Betis, we had talked about it.”