Arsenal have reached a deal to send Hector Bellerin on loan to Real Betis this season, per David Ornstein and as we covered yesterday. It’s a straight loan with no option or obligation to buy, and Bellerin will take a paycut to make it happen. The Spaniard is under contract with the Gunners through June 2023, so the club would still have next summer to swing a permanent move before potentially losing him on a free transfer.
Bellerin has been at Arsenal since 2011 and has made 239 appearances for the club in all competitions. A torn ACL in January 2019 has derailed his career, limiting him to 18, 13, and 24 starts over the last three Premier League seasons, a significant drop-off from being an (near) every week starter. Since returning, he has struggled to regain his form, perhaps in part because he seems to have lost some of his pace, which was one of his biggest assets as a footballer.
Hopefully a loan to his native Spain will help get things back on track. He needs to play regularly, and it doesn’t look as if that is on the cards at Arsenal, especially with the Gunners reportedly signing right back Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna.
A loan seems best for all parties at this point, i.e. this late in the window without much prospect of a permanent move. I’d prefer the loan have an option or obligation to buy included, but Arsenal will save £5M that would have gone to his salary this season. Bellerin will have a chance to rediscover his form and get back to playing football every week. I hope he absolutely crushes it in La Liga this season.