‘Hector is very brave in way he plays’

Mikel Arteta has identified Hector Bellerin’s bravery as a key reason for the 20-year-old becoming Arsenal’s current first-choice right back.

The full back has continued the fine form he displayed in the second half of the 2014/15 season during the opening six weeks of the new campaign, keeping Mathieu Debuchy out of the team with a series of energetic performances.

Arteta believes Bellerin is reaping the benefits from a “perfect development” and says the Spain Under-21 international has the capabilities required to represent his country at senior level.

"He started to build his game, his confidence and naturally he’s become a first choice"

Mikel Arteta

“He had that perfect development,” Arteta told Arsenal Player. “He was in the first team but he had some difficult games to start with, like when we played Dortmund and Stoke away last year.

“He realised it wasn’t that easy and then he was left out for a while. He started to build his game, his confidence and naturally he’s become a first choice.

“Everybody knows that he’s got the technical ability. Physical he’s very quick and mentally he deals with situations and sometimes that’s the most important thing.

“After a very good first season he needs to prove himself again. He needs to prepare mentally because now people are going to be expecting things from him.

“I think he’s lucky because he has people who look after him. He gets good advice, he has good competition with Mathieu. He cannot relax and he knows he cannot relax. He’s an intelligent boy.”

Arteta believes competing for the right-back position with Debuchy will improve Bellerin.

Bellerin on Arsenal Player

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“It tells you about his personality,” the captain added. “He doesn’t care - Mathieu is a French international but he wants to compete as well and he wants to earn his place.

“He’s very brave in the way he plays. I think that’s what people like - he takes people on, he makes runs, he goes forward and he’s not afraid of anything.

“Football is a long run. It’s not about the next few months, it’s about being consistent and at that level for a long time. Mathieu is going to put pressure on him and it’s going to be good for both of them.

“I knew two years ago that he had the ability to be first choice at Arsenal and I can’t see any better right backs in the next two years in Spain.

“I know Hector and if he makes the right decisions in the next few months, I think he’s going to have a chance.” is the only place to follow live coverage of Saturday's Premier League game at Leicester City. Our show starts at 2.30pm (UK time).


Hector Bellerin


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