It already seems a long time ago since Hector Bellerin made his Arsenal debut, but the Spanish right-back has come a long way in the last two years or so.
Having displaced Mathieu Debuchy and become a regular for Arsene Wenger last season, the 21-year-old has undoubtedly established himself as one of the best in his position in world football and has an entire career ahead of him still.
With three Spain caps now to his name, it appears to all be going smoothly for the talented youngster in north London, but according to The Independent, both Manchester City and Barcelona are out to snatch him away from the Gunners.
Losing him to City would be a major blow, while in contrast a possible desire to return to Barca where it all began could prove too big an opportunity for him to reject.
Given the financial limitations that the club was put under following their move to the Emirates Stadium, it contributed to Arsenal going through a difficult period in which they sold many of their top players year-on-year.
From Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure moving to Manchester City in 2009 to Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy later joining them at the Etihad.
Further, there were the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie to contend with, as the Gunners were consistently losing key players, and on many occasions to direct rivals.
It earned the club and Wenger plenty of criticism as their trophy drought continued, and ultimately they could face a similar situation sooner rather than later if the speculation above is to be believed.
Arsenal simply can’t afford to bow to the pressure of the money involved in the reported Bellerin bid, and they have to keep the talented youngster at all costs. Along with several of his teammates, they’re now stamping their mark on this season and giving the impression that the club can mount a serious title bid and build on their second-place finish from last year.
Whether it’s his attacking flair and relentless energy to fly up and down the right wing or his ability to recover and make key interventions and provide defensive solidity to the right side of Arsenal’s defence, Bellerin can easily become a mainstay in this team for another decade.
In turn, the club must reject any advances from City or Barcelona, and prove that they are building with this group and will continue to strengthen regardless of whether or not Wenger is still in charge for the long-term.