Wenger warns Barcelona over Hector Bellerin approach | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper f


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has warned Barcelona that Arsenal will fight to keep standout right-back Hector Bellerin.

Spain international Bellerin, who left Barcelona for north London as a 16-year-old, has been reportedly linked with a return to the Nou Camp by the Spanish press.

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre was quoted last month describing the 21-year-old as a "great player", but Wenger is adamant Bellerin's future lies at Arsenal.

"He has nearly three years to go, we always try to get the players to the [financial] level where we think they deserve to be," Wenger said. "We will try to extend his contract, his long-term future is here.

"He has been absolutely fantastic. His first game was a nightmare. The season before he was at Watford where he didn't play. His progress has been brilliant because he has absolutely top mental strength."

Wenger lost Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona in 2011 after the midfielder made it clear he wanted to return to the club which nurtured him as a young player, but the Frenchman insists that is not the case with Bellerin.

"I think now that you do not necessarily have to play where you were born," he said.

"Modern life is not exactly like that and what is important is that the player meets his needs where he is and his values, and I think he integrated very well the values of our club and he came at a very, very young age of 15-and-a-half, 16 years of age. I think he is a real Arsenal player."

Bellerin is likely to start for Arsenal against Swansea, who will be managed by Bob Bradley for the first time, at the Emirates on Saturday.

The hosts go into the Premier League clash having won their last five games in all competitions, but Wenger will still be without injured pair Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey.

The duo are lacking fitness after recovering from toe and hamstring injuries respectively, and will not be involved.

Carl Jenkinson will make his comeback from a ten-month lay-off following a knee injury when he turns out for the Under-23s against Southampton on Friday.

There is further good news for Wenger as Francis Coquelin is available after initial fears his own knee injury suffered against Chelsea would see him ruled out long-term.

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