Xavi: Barcelona shouldn’t re-sign Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin
The Catalan giants are famed for their academy, which largely produced Pep Guardiola’s incredible side of 2008-2011.
However, many starlets have left Barcelona as teenagers, with Arsenal snapping up the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida, Ignasi Miquel, Jon Toral and Bellerin.
The latter has been widely linked with a return to the Camp Nou in recent months, having spent all of his adult life thus far in north London.
Though Bellerin lost his place in Arsene Wenger’s starting XI towards the end of last season after a loss in form, and the switch to a 3-4-2-1 system, he is still regarded among the Gunners’ top talents.
Asked about a move for the 22-year-old, midfielder Xavi told Sport: “I haven’t seen him play a lot, but I will tell you one thing: it is difficult for me to sign a player we already had.
Héctor Bellerín has completed more take-ons (108) and recorded more assists (9) than any other Premier League defender since 2015/16.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 8, 2017
“Yes, it can work out [in the cases of Fabregas and Gerard Pique], but I would be in favour of not re-signing players. Why do they leave when they are just 16 or 17? I see it as mind-boggling. I don’t understand it.
“The truth is that I am very surprised by what they have done. I would not re-sign them in the future. I would have this philosophy: you’ve been here, you’ve wanted to leave, you’re not coming back.”
Bellerin is set for a late return to pre-season with Arsenal – who are aiming to win a first Premier League title in 14 years – after playing for Spain in the European Under-21 Championships this summer.