Hector Bellerin pleased to see Arsenal’s turnaround despite being axed by Mikel Arteta


    FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League
    Hector Bellerin has played just four times for Barcelona this season (Photo: Getty)

    Former Arsenal star Hector Bellerin says the club is reaping the rewards of sticking by manager Mikel Arteta.

    Once tipped to be an important player for the Gunners, following highly impressive performances that saw him included in the 2015/16 PFA Team of the Year, Bellerin’s career derailed thanks to a mixture of injuries and poor form.

    While he continued to play a role in the team following Arteta’s arrival in 2019, it became clear that he did not feature in his fellow Spaniard’s plans at the Emirates.

    The right-back was loaned out to Real Betis last season before departing back to boyhood club Barcelona during the summer after Arsenal agreed to terminate his contract early.

    One might expect Bellerin to hold a grudge against his former employees and boss, but that does not appear to be the case at all, with the 27-year-old instead full of praise for the club that he won three FA Cups with.

    Specifically, he is glad that Arsenal did not sack Arteta when they had every reason to do so over the past couple of years.

    At the end of the 2020/21 season, Arsenal finished eighth and failed to qualify for any European competition for the first time in 26 years, before beginning the following campaign with three straight defeats and no goals scored, their worst start to a season for 67 years.

    Arsenal v Burnley - Premier League
    Bellerin made 239 appearances for Arsenal from 2013 to 2021 (Photo: Getty)

    The board kept faith with their manager however and just 15 months later Arsenal are top of the Premier League table with only one loss so far this season.

    ‘In football, in general, there is less and less patience,’ Bellerin said ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday.

    ‘There is clear evidence of how important the process is. In England, it has happened with [Pep] Guardiola, [Jurgen] Klopp and Arteta.

    ‘Projects that have faces and eyes have to be prepared, and the process is long. Confidence and continuing to improve is important. Rome wasn’t built in a day.’

    Bellerin’s comments come at a time when Barcelona are weighing up whether to stick or twist with manager Xavi after the Catalan club were embarrassingly knocked out of the Champions League group stage for the second season in a row.

    While Barcelona’s president has publicly supported Xavi, recent rumours suggest they want to bring Arteta to the Camp Nou’s dugout.

    MORE : Barcelona want to bring in Mikel Arteta as boss following strong Arsenal start

    MORE : Rio Ferdinand hails Gabriel Jesus as Arsenal’s ‘most important player’ despite striker’s goal drought

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