Did Arsenal miss a trick by not selling Hector Bellerin amid £40m reports?

Hector Bellerin of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road on October 14, 2017 in Watford, England.

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin has been linked with a move away from the club.

Jose Izquierdo of Brighton and Hove Albion and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at Amex Stadium on March 4,...

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has recently been linked with a move away from the club, though considering his current form it feels the North Londoners may have previously overplayed their hand.

The Spain international was widely regarded as one of the best young talents in the Premier League, prompting interest from his former club Barcelona as well as Juventus.

In the summer, reports in the Mirror suggested that Barcelona were planning a £40 million bid for his services but Arsenal’s stance on the player put off the La Liga giants who instead opted for the cheaper Nelson Semedo.

Leroy Sane of Manchester City is challenged by Hector Bellerin during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on March 1, 2018 in London, England.

The Gunners’ apparent refusal to seek a deal for Bellerin was admirable, but now they could find themselves in a tricky situation where it appears they may have missed a trick by not striking a big-money deal.

Bellerin’s form has declined significantly this season, and Arsenal on the whole have struggled to challenge for the Premier League’s top four and look in danger of missing out on Champions League football again.

  Interceptions per gameDuels Lost per gameSuccessful Dribbles per gameDribbles Overrun per gameUnsuccessful Touches per gameAccurate Crosses per gameAppearances
2016-17 1.09 4.03 1.36 0.15 1.15 0.33 33
2017-18 0.62 4.69 0.79 0.31 1.21 0.24 29

As shown by the stats provided by Opta, the 22-year-old right back has struggled this season, recording on average less interceptions, less successful dribbles and fewer accurate crosses compared to last term.

Moreover, Bellerin has been sloppy in possession, with more unsuccessful touches and overrun dribbles this season, while in one to one duels with his opposite winger he has lost more this time around.

Leroy Sane of Manchester City is challenged by Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on March 1, 2018...

Recent reports in the Guardian claims the defender is seeking an exit from Arsenal as he questions the direction of the club, yet Barcelona appear no longer interested as reports in Mundo Deportivo suggest.

It leaves Juventus as another option, but the Daily Mail claim the Italian champions have a broad agreement to sign Manchester United’s Matteo Darmian – denting Bellerin’s options further.

His situation no doubt needs addressing in the summer, but if Arsenal decide to sell, they could struggle to find a buyer willing to pay anywhere near the reported figures cited for his signature nine months ago.

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