‘Youngsters brought fresh air to team’

Hector Bellerin believes Arsenal’s younger players have brought “fresh air” to the first-team squad.

The Spain defender was one of 11 players aged 23 or under to feature for the Gunners last season.

Bellerin only made his full debut for the club last September and he is delighted with the progress he has made during his breakthrough campaign.

“I learnt so many things about myself,” he told Arsenal Player. “I learnt how to deal with pressure. That was one of the biggest things.

“When you get thrown into such big games at such a young age, it’s difficult to deal with.

“I think the biggest thing was probably after being defeated by Stoke away and being substituted after 45 minutes, it would have been easier to be destroyed by the situation.

Bellerin on Arsenal Player

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“For me it was just something where the boss thought it was a better option to have another player in my position, I didn’t need to worry about it but just keep training hard and then show him in the next game that I can do better than how I did.

“That’s what I learnt about myself - that I could deal with those situations and I think that’s important if you want to be a professional footballer.

“I don’t think I could have been in a better group to have my breakthrough season. I had experienced players that helped me in every situation, then I had young players and I think we gave the team that fresh air.

“I think players like Francis also had his breakthrough season last year so I was very happy to share those moments with him because I’ve known him for a long time as well.

“It’s important to have that mix in the team, and to be part of that team, especially with how successful we were in the second half of the season, is something I feel really proud of.”


Hector Bellern and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 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).

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