LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 5- The prospect of playing regularly in Europe’s biggest stadium is one that would attract most footballers, but boyhood Barcelona fan Hector Bellerin is adamant he is solely focused on Arsenal.
Bellerin looked set to go down a well-trodden path from Barca’s infamous La Masia academy to the first team having been part of the club’s youth set-up for eight years.
But the right-back, who has been named in Spain’s Under-21 squad for the European Championship play-off with Austria, opted to join Arsenal in the summer of 2011 and the player has gone on to cement his place in Arsene Wenger’s back four at the Emirates.
Bellerin has been so impressive and has offered consistent performances over three seasons. Those displays have caused Barcelona and Manchester City to be linked with the defender, but he is content at the Gunners.
Responding to speculation over a return to Catalonia, Bellerin told the Evening Standard: ‘If I wanted to play there I would have stayed there.
‘I was very happy when Arsenal showed interest in me and I decided to come here. I’m not looking back, I’m just looking to help Arsenal. It’s nice for a player to know that big teams want you but I’m very happy here.
‘I’ve still got three years left on my contract so I’m just focused on playing every single week, improving and hopefully making things happen here at Arsenal.
‘I’m not in a rush to extend the contract. I’m happy. I’m comfortable. I want to be here a long time.’
Bellerin has been an ever-present for Arsenal in the league this season, making two assists from his eight chances created as Wenger’s men enjoy a share of the lead after 10 games with City and Liverpool.
The Spaniard is a slight doubt with a knock for the North London derby this weekend against Tottenham – a game the player will be desperate to play in after pipping them to second place in May.
‘They did well last season,’ he added when reflecting on Spurs’ ultimately unsuccessful Premier League title assault last term. ‘They’re a threat. They are a good team.
‘We’re going to have to take control. We know they press high, we know they press well. They run a lot but it’s up to us to be inspired and when we have our chances to take them.’