Hector Bellerin has reportedly signed a six year contract with the Arsenal worth over £100k a week. The 21 year old right back has been a revelation since breaking into the Arsenal first team at the start of the 2015/16 season.
Since the 2015/16 season, Bellerin has played in nearly every match for Arsenal and has racked up 9 assists. His two most memorable assists were in the comeback draw over Tottenham Hotspurs, where he set up Ramsey for the backheel goal and Alexis with the through ball.
Bellerin has also notched assists against Bayern Munich, Everton, and this season, one against Leicester and Chelsea. His game against Chelsea this season showed Bellerin at his very best, he created the first goal with his speed down the right and made a goal-saving tackle on Pedro at the end of the match. If you like techno you can watch his whole performance on this YouTube video.
The tackle and run for the Bayern goal was absolutely astonishing and is yet further proof that “Big Game” Bellerin shows his best in the big games.
His speed is almost unparalleled in the Premier League. In Mexico they might call him “Meteoro” which means both “shooting star” and was the Mexican name for the old children’s cartoon “Speed Racer”.
His speed allows him to play high up the pitch and still make recovery tackles like the one on Bafetimbi Gomis in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Swansea. The look on Gomis’ face is absolutely classic “what just happened?” Players often get that look on their face when Bellerin makes a recovery run and snuffs out a good chance.
But playing so high up the pitch also has its problems. Yes he provides a number of assists and he presses very well. He also makes spectacular tackles to win possession back. But his overall tackle percentage is a little low. Last season he made 72% of his tackles (was dribbled 28% of the time) but this season, possibly due to nagging injury, his tackling numbers and percentages are at a career low of just 1.3 per game and 58% success rate. He also tackles at a very poor rate in the Champions League over both last season and this; allowing himself to be dribbled 1.8 times per game in the Champions League last season or 42% of the time.
Still, it’s easy to see why Man City came after him this summer. He is a fantastic young player with all of the right physical attributes to make a great right back for years to come. His signing for Arsenal is a great piece of news in an otherwise rather dismal world.