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The rise of Hector Bellerin

Friday 22nd July 2016
Hector Bellerin is one of the fastest rising stars in the Premier League; over the past two seasons the talented Spaniard has made the right-back position his own at Arsenal, and he continues to improve with every game. We take a look at Bellerin's journey from young pretender to Premier League superstar.
The speed of Bellerin's development at Arsenal is nothing short of remarkable, although he looked like a good player from a young age, not many people would have predicted his fast rise to the top of the game. Bellerin has firmly cemented his place as the number one right-back at Arsenal, he's made 73 appearances for Arsene Wenger's side, and in the process, he's established himself as one of the best full-backs in English football.

Bellerin began his career in the famous Barcelona youth set-up, he made the move to London in 2011 and signed his  first professional contract with Arsenal two years later. He made his debut for Arsene Wenger's side in September 2013, when he came on as a substitute in a League Cup tie away to West Bromwich Albion. Bellerin then joined Watford on loan - making eight appearances for the Hornets before being recalled by Arsenal in February 2014. Bellerin made his Champions League debut for Arsenal in September 2014, away to Borussia Dortmund. Five months later he scored his first goal for the club against Aston Villa.

Bellerin was selected to start in the 2015 FA Cup final, he helped his side secure a 4-0 victory to lift the trophy at Wembley. He tasted more success at Wembley just two months later, as he featured in Arsenal's 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield. Bellerin's impressive performances in the Premier League also earned him a place in the PFA team of the year last season. Bellerin represented Spain at youth level (U16-U21), he made his senior international debut in May of this year in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he was then called up to the Spanish squad for Euro 2016.

Bellerin possesses many attributes that are essential for a modern-day full-back. His pace is the main strength of his game, he's one of the quickest players in Europe, and he regularly uses it to full effect. In defence, his speed helps him recover in almost impossible situations, and he's relied on it heavily during the past few seasons when he's sprinted back to stop an attack with a last-ditch challenge.

Bellerin is composed on the ball, he is a good dribbler, and he often makes the right decisions when in possession. His ability on the ball makes him a perfect fit for Arsenal's style of play, and he poses a huge threat from the right-hand side. Bellerin often contributes in the attacking third of the pitch, his passing and crossing have also improved over the last 12 months, and he is now well on his way to becoming a complete right-back.
There is still more to come from Bellerin in an Arsenal shirt, he's only 21 years-old, and although he's already established himself as an important first-team player for his side, he has the potential to improve, and the ability to go down as one of the club's all-time greats. If he continues to impress in the Premier League for Arsenal, it won't be too long before he is a regular starter for his national side.

Arsene Wenger has unearthed a gem in Bellerin; one that could potentially rank alongside the likes of Ashley Cole and Cesc Fabregas. Players which began their club careers at Arsenal as promising youngsters, but went on to develop into world-class talents during their time at the club. Bellerin is a crucial player for Arsenal, he will play a big role in the side this season, and he has a big future ahead of him for both club and country.
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.



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