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Arsenal: Hector Bellerin explains his decision to leave the Emirates

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The Real Betis defender has opened up on his decision to ask for a move away from Arsenal.

Hector Bellerin left Arsenal on loan in the summer to join Real Betis. The Premier League heavyweights replaced the Spaniard with Takehiro Tomiyasu, who quickly established himself as a regular starter.

Before Arsenal made a move for the Japanese defender, Bellerin had asked the club for an exit. A decision that seemed odd as he usually played as a starter under Mikel Arteta.

Speaking on the Wrighty’s House podcast, Bellerin explained his decision to leave the Gunners.

 He said: “I was lucky that Mikel is someone who is very understanding. Mikel knew it was nothing to do with football or the club.

“As people we go through cycles and it’s not because I don’t want to play there anymore, it’s just because this isn’t helping any of us.

“When I know that it’s not the place where I need to be at that time, nothing works and Mikel really understood that. He knows everything I’ve gone through at Arsenal, my injuries, every single episode.

“I was very lucky that I could be open with him and we could have a talk where he understood fully. He said, ‘I want to help you’. Not just as a coach but as a friend.

“The respect we have as people is there and I was very happy that Arsenal gave me the opportunity to let me find what I was looking for. You could see at that time it wasn’t working for any of us.

“It was clear in my head what I needed and I’m happy that it’s fulfilling itself. I’m happy.”

On Tomiyasu and Arsenal’s form

Having bounced back from a poor start to the campaign, Arsenal have enjoyed a great run of form lately. The Gunners have climbed up to fifth place on the Premier League table, fighting to finish among the top four.

Asked about the Gunners’ current form, Bellerin responded: “Arsenal are doing amazing and that makes me so happy. The player they got in my position is doing great.

“There’s literally no hard feelings for me. It’s beautiful to see because I watch every single game and I want the guys to do well.

“It’s just how football goes. You need to see what’s best for you and the club. I always say to the club, if I leave this place, I don’t want to leave you guys without, for example, anyone in my position, or in a position when you guys are not in the best terms.

“I want the best for all of us because I’ve been here for 10 years and I love this place. It’s worked out for everyone and that’s what shows me it was the right thing to do. It makes me really happy to see the guys doing well.”