Hector Bellerin 'Prepared to Ask' for Arsenal Exit to Seal Barcelona Transfer

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal reacts during the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin is reportedly ready to ask to leave the club this summer, with Barcelona keen to complete a deal. 

According to Tomas Andreu of Sport, the defender "is prepared to ask Arsene Wenger to let him leave for the club of his dreams." It's added the talks would be "vitally important" as Bellerin feels as though he "owes everything to Wenger," with the coach having shown great faith in his talent.

Barcelona are set to step up their interest in the player once Bellerin has made his intentions clear, as Arsenal are unwilling to negotiate at the moment.

It's noted Barca are ready to send officials to London next week to wrap the deal up, including club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and director of football Raul Sanllehi.

Bellerin is said to be ready to speak with Wenger about his future.
Bellerin is said to be ready to speak with Wenger about his future.FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Bellerin spent time in the Blaugrana youth setup early in his career before opting to move to Arsenal. Since being handed his chance by Wenger, he has gone on to establish himself as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League. In November, Bellerin extended his contract at the Emirates Stadium until 2022.

Per WhoScored.com, the 22-year-old loves to pick the ball up and drive forward at the opposition:

That attacking appetite has given Arsenal a dangerous edge on the right side. 

Bellerin's pace means he's a nightmare to track for the opposition left-sided midfielder and a major outlet on that flank. Indeed, Bellerin is so rapid, he's frequently the player who leads Arsenal counter-attacks and finds himself in the opposition penalty area.

That attacking spark is something Barcelona lacked at right-back last season after the departure of Dani Alves. Sergi Roberto was a combative and determined makeshift full-back, while Aleix Vidal only showed glimpses of talent before his season was curtailed due to injury.

While Bellerin would bring a thrust back to that position, there are areas of his game that need work. Sports journalist Rafael Hernandez thinks Barca should be setting their sights higher:

After all, the 2016-17 season was a bit of a struggle for Bellerin, and he was dropped from the team by Wenger for much of the run-in.

Bellerin didn't have the best 2016-17 season.
Bellerin didn't have the best 2016-17 season.ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

At times, the Spain international doesn't make the most of his bursts forward, with his crossing wayward. Defensively, while improving, he can still get caught out by intelligent runs in behind and struggles against opponents who are willing to be physical against him.

If he were to move to Barcelona, his primary duty would be to maintain width in the final third and contribute in an attacking sense, something he would have no problem doing. But Bellerin is not a player who will shore up a Blaugrana defence that was brittle for much of the campaign just gone.