Mikel Arteta has praised the quality shown by young right back Hector Bellerin since being thrust into first-team action since January. The Spaniard was not expected to get many first-team opportunities this season.
This was after Arsenal signed Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United for around £ 10 million, but the French international has largely been on the sidelines due to recurring injury problems. This combined with a shortage of central defenders has seen backup right back Monreal being moved to the centre. Arsene Wenger has trusted inBellerin and the 19-year-old has more than delivered with some fantastic performances especially against Manchester City.
Bellerin was short of the Arsenal defence that kept a clean sheet against the reigning champions at the Etihad stadium in what turned out to be one of the best defensive performances from Arsenal in the last decade. Mikel Arteta’s future at the club is under a cloud of doubt since he is out of contract at the end of the season, but signs are that the Spaniard will extend his stay by confirming a 12 month extension to his current contract.Bellerin has already featured in nine league matches this campaign with an average of 2.5 tackles per game.
“I’ve been really impressed with Hector since he came into the first team – perhaps even more with his attitude than his quality, because I knew all about that.I said at the start of the season that in terms of the young players, he was the closest to making a breakthrough because he has the attributes to become one of the club’s most important players. He is very brave, his decision making is good and he’s a great athlete.He is very open, he is willing to understand what the manager and the team want from him on the pitch,” said Arteta.