Barcelona right-back Hector Bellerin has used Arsenal as an example of why the Catalan giants should stick with manager Xavi as rumors of his potential sacking mount.
Bellerin, 27, left the Gunners this past summer and moved to the Nou Camp, falling down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta.
He was Arsenal’s first-choice right-back when Arteta was appointed manager in 2019.
Arteta sent Bellerin on loan to Real Betis last season before allowing his free transfer to Barcelona.
He made 239 appearances for the Gunners, scoring nine goals and providing 29 assists.
Despite being frozen out by Arteta, Bellerin believes clubs are more successful sticking with their manager in difficult times.
He said (through the mirror):
“In football, in general, there is less and less patience. There is clear evidence of how important the process is. In England, it happened. [Pep] Guardiola, [Jurgen] Klopp and Arteta.”
“Projects that have faces and eyes have to be prepared and the process is long. Confidence and continued improvement are important. Rome was not built in a day.”
Xavi has been under pressure since Barca’s exit from the UEFA Champions League in the group stage for the second season in a row.
Bellerin has made just four appearances across the competition since moving to the Nou Camp but is backing Xavi to remain in charge of the Blaugrana.
Barcelona may have struggled in Europe but domestically they sit in second place just one point behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
Arteta was similarly under pressure due to poor form at the start of last season.
The Gunners sit bottom of the Premier League after three defeats in their first three matches.
Despite growing speculation over Arteta’s future, the Gunners stood by their boss and he led the way up the table with a fifth-placed finish.
This season, Arsenal are flying at the top of the league and are currently in first place with ten wins, one draw and one defeat in 12 matches.
Barcelona are ready to let former Arsenal defender Bellerin’s contract expire next summer
Bellerin may have joined Barcelona from Arsenal last summer but the Catalan outfit are already ready to part ways with the Spaniard.
Defender Xavi has signed a one-year deal with the club but his lack of game time is worrying.
According to Spanish journalist Javi Miguel (via Managing Barca), Barcelona have decided not to renew Bellerin’s contract and he is expected to leave in 2023.
Xavi has often opted to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Alejandro Bald in place of the Spaniard and it appears he has no long-term future at the Nou Camp.