The Rise and Rise of Hector Bellerin
I’m usually not meant to be awake on a Saturday morning like this. But then again, that depends on what I did last night. Before you start thinking I went out to groove or something of that nature, cool down for Jesus Christ. With yesterday being a public holiday and all, I finally had the time to play a new game I recently bought on my PS4, the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Before I got my hands on the game, there was so much hype about it but when you see a video game with stats like 10/10 on GameSpot, 10/10 on IGN Russia, 92/100 on PC Gamer, 9.8/10 on GameTrailers, you’d know it’s worth taking a punt. I’ve done that and it’s turning into one of those games you don’t to finish because it’s too damn awesome!
Moving on to more realistic things than some Arsenal blogger that’s a game freak (yeah!, Call of Duty: Blacks Ops III is coming out soon – woohoo!), there’s a Barclay’s Asia Tour final coming up today against Everton. With me starting my lectures for my Masters Degree in Process Engineering (lectures on Saturday and Sunday 😦 ), I’m certainly going to miss the game and make do with the highlights and it’s going to be a continuous thing for the next 18 months or so.
Arsene Wenger expects it to be a tough final against a familiar foe in Everton, but it would be a game of great significance to Hector Bellerin, that has recently extended his contract with the Gunners. Arsene Wenger had some nice words for the young Spaniard after he signed da ting (Walcott, what are you still waiting for),
“His progress has been huge because if you had asked me that question last year, exactly on the same day, I would not have guaranteed you that Bellerin would be a regular player in the club by the end of the season, but he managed to do it.
“I met him when he was 15, and I could see straight away that there was something special on the hunger side, on the desire and maturity side. “I expect him to continue to develop (in the new season).”
Bellerin joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2011 and worked his way through the youth squads before he finally made his debut (as a defensive midfielder) in the Capital One Cup third round victory over West Brom in the 2013/14 campaign. Shortly afterwards, he joined Watford on loan and in his third game for the Hornets, he hit the back pages with a virtuoso display against Leeds United. Bellerin’s loan at Watford was short-lived and I’m sure he must have been very disappointed to be recalled by Arsenal in February as he had managed to hold down a first team place with the Championship outfit.
Last season, a stroke of luck shined for the Spanish youngster as he capitalized on Matt Debuchy’s injury and Calum Chambers poor form to stake his claim for a first team place. His Champions League debut against Borussia Dortmund was a nightmare (well, the entire team under-performed) and he put up a very strong performance in the Capital One Cup defeat to Southampton but as the games progressed, Bellerin grew in confidence, which was beneficial to the player and Arsenal.
His first professional goal came against Aston Villa and he didn’t wait to long to score again when Liverpool visited the Emirates. Debuchy made his return, sending Bellerin back to the bench but he got injured against Stoke, thereby given the Spaniard another chance to cement a place in the first team. When Debuchy made his third return to the team after his injury worries, he struggled in the game against Reading, and it was evident that he wasn’t fit enough. Bellerin played the remainder of the Premier League games in late April and May before capping a great breakthrough season with another good outing in the FA Cup final.
This video from Once a Gooner gives a detailed breakdown of Bellerin’s performances in the 2014/15 campaign.
This season, Bellerin has featured as a substitute in the Barclays Asia Tour semifinal against Singapore Select XI and his fine play allowed him create a brilliant assist for Chuba Akpom. With Arsenal taking on Everton, Wenger would want to field a stronger XI and it would be interesting to see who features at right back.
With Bellerin signing a loan term deal, Carl Jenkinson out on loan and Debuchy aging, it’s evident to know that Wenger has plans for his younger right backs. I’m happy Bellerin has committed himself to the club for the future and I wish him all the very best in his fledgling Arsenal career.
And yeah, he’s still the fastest player in the club. Like you didn’t know.
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