Arsenal fans are quite familiar with the phrase ‘Barca DNA’. Various players and officials of the Catalan club repeatedly used this phrase to justify the club’s relentless pursuit of their former player Cesc Fabregas when he was with the Gunners.
Barcelona finally got their man much to the anger of Arsenal fans, and since then ‘Braca DNA’ has stuck with the fans of the North London club as a form of sarcastic jibe they usually aim at the La Liga giants.
Now, the history is sort of repeating itself, and Barcelona want another of their former youth players from Arsenal.
Spanish daily Sport recently claimed that Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has identified Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin as a long-term replacement of Dani Alves.
If there was any uncertainty about this report, it was cleared by the comments from Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre. ‘We’ve already seen him as a Cule! He’s a great player, there’s no doubt about that,’ Mestre told Sport regarding the possibility of re-signing Bellerin.
‘Arsene Wenger convinced him to move in 2011 and promised him something which we couldn’t.
‘We could not promise him that within two years he would be playing in Dani Alves’ place.’
‘In many cases, it’s good that they leave to develop as players and then return with experience” he said.
‘Look at the cases of Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Denis Suarez… I hope the same thing will happen with Sergi Samper, too.
‘It’s positive that these players get minutes at other clubs. It is dynamic which has always provided good results for players that carry the Barca DNA in their blood.’
However, one must keep in mind that the transfer landscape has changed a lot in the last few years. The Spanish giants don’t have the authority over transfer market anymore as they used to enjoy in the recent past.
The elevated financial power of Premier League clubs have enabled them to compete with La Liga powerhouses, and this was evident this summer as Real Madrid lost out to Manchester United in pursuit of Paul Pogba.
Bellerin has a contract until 2019 with the Gunners, and he has, on multiple occasions, stated that he is happy in North London.
Meanwhile, Manchester City are also reportedly interested in the Spanish full-back, which means Arsenal can demand a premium price for Bellerin which was not the case with Fabregas.