Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has revealed his excitement at being a regular starter for the Arsenal first team, and also expressed his desire to continue to deliver performances at the top level (via Arsenal.com). The young Spaniard’s rise has been meteoric thus far – he made his first appearance for the senior side less than a year ago against Borussia Dortmund – and he has replaced the much more experienced Mathieu Debuchy at right back.
When questioned about the dreaded second-season syndrome, Bellerin brushed it off, claiming that he could deal with the increased expectations of the fans. Speaking to Arsenal Player, he said, “A lot of people talk about that second season stuff but what plays in your favour is that I played 28 games last season.
“I’m confident, I know that I can play and you know that all the experiences always plays in your favour. You’ve got both sides of it – people saying that other teams know what you play like and know how to stop you, but you’ve got the confidence and the experience.
“I’m finding it very good and I’m very happy that the boss is giving me as many opportunities as last year and that I’m playing the minutes I want.
“At the beginning of the first season, you don’t have that pressure to perform at 100 per cent, because it’s always hard when you first start. But now, in the second season, people are expecting big things from you, so you can’t really disappoint them.
“You have to play your A game in every single match and that’s a good thing. That’s something that makes you grow as a player and for me this season is hopefully about getting the same minutes, starting every game and helping the team to do great things.”
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So far, Bellerin has been one of the few bright spots in our season; the defender has had several quality performances and his abilities are being noted by other coaches and the Spain national setup as well. He started a total of 28 games for us last season – a total he will easily surpass this time around – and the player seems to be coping well with the increased scrutiny and responsibility. His willingness to bring his A-game every time is also a great thing, and a trait that hopefully rubs off on some of the other players in the squad.
If we tie him down for the long term, Arsenal have a future star on their hands.