Hector Bellerin - Player Profile

Breakthrough Season For Arsenal’s Bellerin

Personal information 
Full name: Hector Bellerin Moruno
Date of birth: 19 March 1995
Age: 20
Place of birth: Barcelona, Spain
Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position: Right-back

Club information
Current team: Arsenal 
Number: 39

Youth career 
2003–2011: Barcelona
2011–2013: Arsenal

Senior career
2013– Arsenal 22 Appearances, 2 goals
2013–2014 → Watford (loan) 8 Appearances,0 goals

National team
2011 Spain U16 6 Appearances, 1 goal
2012 Spain U17 6 Appearances, 0 goals
2013–2014 Spain U19 9 Appearances, 0 goals

2015– Spain U21 1 Appearance,0 goals 

Like Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin began his career with Barcelona’s famed academy before switching to North London aged 16. Even then, Wenger had high hopes for the Catalan.
Bellerin has had to bide his time, until now. In pre-season, he made quite the impression, starring in the Emirates Cup victory over Benifca. In Barcelona’s academy, Bellerin played predominantly as a winger. Arsene Wenger spotted that immense attacking potential, and sought to release it from the deeper position of full-back. Bellerin’s game is characterised by searing runs down the by-line. He loves to get beyond the midfield and join up with the attack. Bellerin, 20, has had a brilliant debut season for the Londoners, having played a lot more than he might have thought. The young Spaniard has featured in 14 games in the Premier League this season, scoring two goals, while also picking up one assist. For a full-back, that’s impressive. Bellerin has been an able replacement for the injured Mathieu Debuchy, but when the Frenchman is fit again, Wenger will have a tough decision to make as to whether to stick with a player who’s been reliable all season or revert to his summer signing from Newcastle.

Bellerin was promoted to Arsenal's first team at the start of the 2014/15 campaign after he spent time on loan at Watford the previous season to gain valuable experience. The young Spaniard also featured in the majority of Arsenal's 2013/14 Youth League campaign and made seven appearances for the under-21s, scoring two goals. The energetic defender made his debut for the senior side in September 2013 when he came on as a late substitute against West Brom in the League Cup. Strong in possession and direct going forward, Hector was part of the squad that visited New York in pre-season and he also featured in the 2014 Emirates Cup where he produced an eye-catching display against Benfica. He then made his full debut against Borussia Dortmund the following month before making his first Premier League appearance when he started against Hull City in October last season. Hector impressed so much that he quickly became a regular in Wenger's matchday squad for 2014/15 campaign as back-up to Debuchy and Calum Chambers at right back. 

Bellerin’s main strength is his speed. This summer, he broke the Arsenal 40m sprint record previously held by Thierry Henry and Theo Walcott. Bellerin is now the fastest player in Arsenal’s history. Hector Bellerin's season got even better when an internet meme started doing the rounds that suggests the Arsenal right-back is faster than Usain Bolt. The Spaniard set a time of 4.42 seconds over a distance of 40 metres, which is quicker than the Jamaican sprinter who when setting the current 100m world record, took 4.64 seconds to cover the first four/tenths of the track. Apparently, Bellerin would have been a full two metres ahead of Bolt at the 40 metre mark had they lined up together when the record of 9.58 seconds was set in 2009. Not only does he have the speed to break into the box, but he has the skill to deliver the end product too. His final ball is good, and he even has an eye for goal.

 Bellerin’s quick, cavalier approach to full-back play seems an ideal fit for Arsenal’s attacking style. Many suspect that the reason Arsenal opted to sign Debuchy this summer is because Arsene Wenger didn’t want to put a younger full-back in the path of Bellerin. His development is a long-term project that the Gunners boss is eager to see come to fruition. And Wenger says he was not counting on such an assured transition to the first team from the 20-year-old. He believes the Spaniard has been schooled in the Arsenal way and expects him to remain in London for the foreseeable future.