Santi Cazorla has warned Arsenal that it would be a mistake to allow Hector Bellerin to leave the club after the full-back was linked with both Barcelona and Manchester City.
The 21-year-old has become a key figure for the Gunners and his impressive displays have reportedly attracted interest from Barcelona who are believed to be keen on a right-back while Pep Guardiola is also believed to be interested.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Swansea on Saturday Arsene Wenger insisted Bellerin’s long-term future is at the Emirates, but speculation he will leave persists.
Cazorla says it is vital the club keep hold of the defender and was glowing in his praise of the youngster.
“You could see in the victory over Swansea how good he is. He was all over the place and never stopped running,” he told IBTimes UK.
“For Arsenal it would be a mistake to let him go. It is obvious that many teams want him. There has been talk about Manchester City and Barcelona. He is a player with great potential and I am sure he will also be a key part of the future of the Spanish national team.”
Cazorla’s future is also the subject of much debate with the midfielder’s contract due to expire at the end of the season but he has again reiterated his desire to stay with the Gunners.
“In my case I will finish my contract at the end of the season but I’m not thinking about it now,” he added . “I’m just focusing on playing and giving my best on the pitch. Last season was very difficult for me after spending so much time on the sidelines [due to a knee injury]. Now I just want to enjoy myself again – and we’ll see what happens in the future.
“I’m happy because I’m playing regularly. If I didn’t play I would tell you that I would consider leaving, but I’m having minutes and I have the confidence of the manager. That’s what every player wants.
“Since the very first day at this club I have had the affection of the fans, and that is amazing. I have only words of gratitude to the fans of Arsenal for how they’ve treated me from day one, and I try to repay them by giving my best on the pitch.”
Cazorla’s views on Bellerin are likely to be echoed by all fans who will be keen to keep him at the club and away from Barcelona and Manchester City and will also be hoping the midfielder joins him by remaining with the Gunners.