Hector Bellerin says that it was a dream come true when he made his full debut for Arsenal last night against Borrusia Dortmund in the Champions League. Unfortunately the experience was soured somewhat for the 19-year-old as Arsenal succumbed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
Bellerin was called into the Arsenal side at right back after both Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers were ruled out of the encounter with injury and illness respectively.
The Spaniard, who made eight appearances last year on loan for Watford, has only once played for Arsenal’s first team before, appearing as a substitute in a Capital One Cup tie against West Brom.
Lack of previous first time experience hindered Bellerin, who admitted that the tempo of the game was challenging to adjust to, but the 19-year-old will undoubtedly learn from the experience.
Bellerin told the official Arsenal website:
They came with so much tempo at the start with their quick players up front. We tried to start the game with the same tempo as them but we couldn’t, and that’s something we need to work on for our next game.
But it was a dream come true for me tonight. It’s always your dream as a kid to make your debut in the Champions League. On the other hand, I’m gutted and we’ve just got to work harder in the next game.
I knew there was a chance [of starting] during the week with the injury of Mathieu [Debuchy] and I found out at training before the game that Calum [Chambers] was feeling a bit ill, so I knew there was a chance.
I never thought at that moment that I could make my debut here, but when they told me [on Tuesday] afternoon I was really happy. It is what you are waiting for since when you’re a kid and you’re just playing in the playground. I’m just really happy to get it out of the way, to make my debut on a night like this is good for me.
[Playing first-team football] is what I want to be doing every weekend. It’s good to get minutes with the under-21s but what you’re here for is to play games with the first team. It was a really hard game but I’m glad I got to play here and hopefully there’s many more games to come.
The youngster will be hoping to add more first team experiences over the coming months, and with Debuchy sidelined for the foreseeable future with his ankle injury, opportunities may well come Bellerin’s way.
How do you think the youngster fared? Let us know by commenting below…