Barcelona sign La Masia grad Hector Bellerin on a free

Hector Bellerin (left) challenges for the ball against Ez Abde during the match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis at Camp Nou on Dec. 4, 2021, in Barcelona. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Barcelona were in need of a right-back following the departure of Sergiño Dest, on loan, to AC Milan. The Catalan side have found one and he’s a former La Masia player.

The club has signed Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin on a free transfer.

The 27-year-old signed for only one season, meaning he can leave as a free agent at the end of the season unless he impresses enough that Barcelona sign him to an extension.

Bellerin is the second Arsenal player to join the club on a free deal after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. While the Gabonese striker appears set on a move to Chelsea, his six-month trial with the Blaugrana was a success.

Bellerin is likely going to slot straight into the team with Sergi Roberto as the only other option at right-back. Xavi has also used Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo there but their skills are better used at center-back.

He played on loan last season at Real Betis where he showed some of his qualities. Bellerin was willing to wait until the final day to see if a move back to Betis could be a possibility.

Those hopes seemed to dwindle as Betis were having some issues registering some of their players.

The option of joining Barcelona opened up and he’s now back where he started.

Given his formative years and the style of play at Arsenal, the hope is when he does slot into the team, it doesn’t take long for him to integrate into the way Xavi wants Barcelona to play.

Time will tell if his signing was the right one. But arriving on a free and for only one season was too good of an opportunity for Barcelona to pass up.