'Bellerin’s long-term future is here'

Arsene Wenger has hailed Hector Bellerin’s "absolutely spectacular" progress - and says the defender's long-term future remains at Arsenal.

The 21-year-old has made huge strides over the past two seasons, becoming a full Spain international and developing into one of the world’s best right backs.

"He has been absolutely fantastic," Wenger said. "Let’s not forget that in his first game he had a nightmare when I played him, and the year before he was at Watford - he didn’t play.

"So we try to extend, certainly, his contract. For me, his long-term future is here."

Arsene Wenger

"His progress has been absolutely spectacular because he has top mental strength.

"I think he loves as well to be here and he has responsibilities already in the dressing room for such a young age. It’s something remarkable."

There has been speculation in the press about Bellerin’s future, but Wenger underlined his desire to keep him at the club in the long term.

"He has nearly three years to go and we always try get the players to the level where we think they deserve to be," the manager said. "So we try to extend, certainly, his contract. For me, his long-term future is here.

"What is important is that a player meets his needs where he is and his values, and I think he integrated very well with the values of our club.

"He came at a very, very young age of 16. I think he is a real Arsenal player."


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