Hector Bellerin: Arsenal’s Next Big Thing?


Hector Bellerin was a bright spot in an up and down Arsenal 2014/15 season. The young Spaniard, who was only 19 years old throughout much of his first campaign with the senior squad, impressed to say the least, starting 17 EPL matches in the process.

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He even managed to become Arsene Wenger’s first choice right back by the end of the season, and if Hector Bellerin can continue to progress in the years to come, he could become one of the most important Gunners in a squad that still needs to be strengthened in order to compete for league titles.

Bellerin, now 20 years old, is perhaps best known for his pace. The Spaniard even managed to break Arsenal’s timed sprint record formerly held by Theo Walcott – commonly renowned as one of the fastest players in England.

Hector Bellerin provides significant speed up and down the Gunners’ right flank and as he showed last season, his pace can be used to help build an Arsenal attack or stop an opposing one.

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He uses his pace wisely. Hector Bellerin was even able to score two impressive goals, one in the win against Liverpool. This shows his willingness to get up the pitch, even in games where solid defense is essential.

The problem with this attacking tendency that is commonly seen with fullbacks is that it is not used effectively on both sides of the ball. However, because the Spaniard is so quick, Bellerin can afford to help significantly on offense as his ability to recover on defense is a highlight of his game.

This versatility and ability on both sides of the ball, especially in a fullback, can be crucial and in many cases these aspects must take time to develop. However, as Bellerin showed this season, he has mastered it to a point that gained him a starting spot in the Arsenal first team, even over a much more experienced Mathieu Debuchy.

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Hector Bellerin has proven to be quite the gem. He was a pleasant surprise to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal fans come the end of 2014/15. However, the 20 year old still must refine his game especially on defense to become elite. For example, he only wins 37% of his aerial duels and 45% of his total duels. For a defender, those numbers should be improved. However, Bellerin didn’t make a single error that led to an opposing goal, so skill still isn’t completely lacking on defense (stats per squawka.com).  

Hector Bellerin still has plenty of time to refine all parts of his game,too, but things are looking up for the Spaniard. As long as he keeps improving, ideally but unrealistically like he did last season, he can become a player that Wenger must build around to turn Arsenal into a title-winning squad. Since he’s already such a solid player though, this might not prove to be too hard for Bellerin.

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The point is that Hector Bellerin can become a player Arsene Wenger must build around to improve the side. The 20 year old has immense potential – there’s no doubting that – but if he can live up to the hype and keep improving throughout his years as an Arsenal man, Bellerin could become a stalwart in the starting XI for years to come.

His contribution was notable this past season, and if the young fullback does improve,  he will be a player key to Arsenal’s future success. Should the Arsenal side be strengthened with future signings, the defender should still be a key player for years to come, one that is able to make a consistently positive contribution for Arsenal even on both sides of the ball.

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