Unfortunately it is not the great Lionel Messi that has been talking in glowing terms about the mighty Arsenal this week, but our Spanish right back Hector Bellerin did spend the same sort of time learning his trade at the Barca academy at La Masia that has produced the likes of Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets and even our former captain Cesc Fabregas.
Bellerin is Barcelona born and bred and we have to face the possibility that he might want to go back there one day, but the reason he left in the first place was because the chances of actually breaking into the first team are smaller there.
Arsenal also has a great reputation for our youth system and Bellerin has been raving about it this week to Arsenal Player. He says it is one of the best things about the club and he has certainly benefited from it last season and just as he appreciates that, the young Spaniard was blown away to hear how much us fans appreciate the way he took his opportunity.
Bellerin said, “I remember the first time I heard it – we were playing QPR away. I started hearing something like Bellerin and I thought, ‘Is that really a song for me?’. And then they sang it.
“I couldn’t believe it. To play away at QPR and hear my song was amazing. The away support is really strong at Arsenal and to hear that they’re cheering for you, singing your name, you can’t really ask for more. That was one of the highlights of my season.
“In the beginning when you start playing you hope that one day you will have your own song. Once that happened for the first time, it felt like everything had fallen into place and it was a great experience.
“The fans rate that Arsenal don’t just buy players, they make them the players they are,” he said. “Arsenal fans are really proud of that and I think that’s a great thing.
“When players like Francis, Jack or myself come up, the fans should be proud that their team is doing what they’re doing. That’s a great thing Arsenal do.”
It certainly is and hopefully Bellerin will remember that if Barca do come calling one day.