Andries Jonker says Hector Bellerin’s “commitment to Arsenal’s academy” has made him the player he is today.
The defender was named in Spain’s 23-man squad for this summer's European Championship after impressing on his senior debut against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Bellerin has been at Arsenal since he was 16 and Jonker revealed that, despite his meteoric rise in the past two seasons, the 21-year-old has remained grounded.
"It’s good for me to know and it’s one of the reasons I joined this club, but for these players it’s a huge possibility to have this opportunity"
“When we play in Europe and share a plane with the first team after winning our game, Hector’s one of the ones who comes to the back of the plane to congratulate the academy players on their victory,” Jonker told Arsenal Player.
“There you can see his commitment to the academy. He has not forgotten where he comes from and that is a different story. Foreign players can only come in after their 16th birthday, and Hector has been here since he was 16.
“That’s why I feel very comfortable at this club and why my position is much easier than any other academy manager’s. We have a manager who has been with the first team for a long time and I just explained that, while you’re at Colney, you’re a potential candidate to train with the first team.
“Every single day, four or five players from the academy practise with the first team. Everybody who is performing better than a first-team player gets a chance. It’s good for me to know and it’s one of the reasons I joined this club, but for these players it’s a huge possibility to have this opportunity. They know that at Arsenal they will get a chance in the first team.”
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