Arsenal, along with Hector Bellerin himself, announced on Monday that the defender has signed a fresh contract extension with the north London club. The 21-year-old right back is widely considered to be one of the hottest prospects in all of Europe, and the new deal rebuffs interest of Bellerin from teams like Barcelona and Manchester City.
On the topic of a potential move away from the Emirates, Bellerin stated that Arsenal is his home. “I’m really, really happy and this club is my home right now,” claimed the defender. “I’ve been here for more than five years now so I was really, really excited when the club told me that they wanted to extend my contract.”
Manager Arsene Wenger heavily praised his young right back following the big news. “He’s developed his defensive qualities very well, and is much more decisive in his offensive game,” the manager proclaimed. “His physical potential is absolutely huge, not only is he quick but he can repeat. He can put the volume and the intensity into his game and you do not meet that often in your career.”
“He has integrated the values that are important and also, because he is a carrier of the values that are important for the club,” Wenger continued. “I think he will be one of the strong members of this club in the future.”
As stated last month, the Gunners convincing Bellerin to remain a part of the Arsenal team and sign a new long-term contract would be a massive step in the right direction. Since Bacary Sagna departed to the blue side of Manchester in the summer of 2014, Bellerin has been a mainstay at the right back position for Arsenal.
The club initially brought in Mathieu Debuchy to fill the Sagna void; however, Bellerin was forced to play a tad sooner than expected due to multiple injuries to the aforementioned Frenchman in his first season in London (as well as Calum Chambers). Bellerin, then just 19, took full advantage of the opportunity and has not looked back.
After a bright freshman campaign with the big boys, the Spaniard had a brilliant second season with the senior Arsenal team. Bellerin took part in 36 of the 38 Premier League matches and was given a spot in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the 2015/16 season. Not only was the youngster awarded as the league’s top right back, but Bellerin was also called up to the Spain national team back in May. The defender made his senior debut in a 3-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.