• Premier League

Bellerin explains decision to swap Barca for Arsenal

ESPNsoccernet staff
July 2, 2011
Arsene Wenger's influence was key in persuading Hector Bellerin to leave Barcelona © Getty Images

Former Barcelona youth team player Hector Bellerin says he decided to quit Camp Nou for Arsenal to increase his chances of playing first team football.

Bellerin, a 16-year-old right-back, has moved to the Premier League before signing a professional contract, just as Cesc Fabregas did in 2003.

He told Spanish TV programme Punto Pelota: "I was at home and my father called me to say Arsenal had been on the phone. We decided to go there to see how things are. I hadn't made up my mind because I'd been at Barcelona all my life so it was very difficult.

"But after evaluating things I decided to join Arsenal. When you want to be a professional you have to look to make your way. And I believe the right path for me was to choose Arsenal.

"We met Mr Wenger and it went so well. It was all too much for me but I paid full attention to everything he said. When there is a team that guarantees you can play in the first team and above all in the Premier League, then it is very difficult to say no.

"Mr Wenger was explaining to me how the club was and the project they had prepared for me and above all he wanted to get to know me."

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