Football

Arsene Wenger should give Hector Bellerin a chance

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With long-serving right-back Bacary Sagna having departed on a free-transfer to Manchester City in July, Arsène Wenger was quick to strengthen with the arrivals of Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy before sending Carl Jenkinson out on loan to West Ham. But who is the club's second-choice right-back?

Hector Bellerin is a name that is unlikely to be familiar with most people outside of Arsenal's fanbase. The speedy 19-year-old Spanish defender grasped his first-team chance with both hands in pre-season, particularly excelling in Arsenal's 5-1 victory over Benfica in which he also put a delightful cross for Joel Campbell to volley home.

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Belief in Bellerin

Quick, technically-gifted and with an excellent cross, the diminutive youngster has been hugely impressive for both the Arsenal U19s in the UEFA Youth Champions League, and the Arsenal U21s, showing exceptional awareness and understanding of the game.

However, his small physique and willingness to bomb forward has at times led to criticism of his all-round defensive ability. This is mostly unwarranted, as he has improved enormously in this regard over the last year, especially shown during a brief loan spell at Watford where he also demonstrated his versatility by playing at left wing-back.

His lack of first-team experience and general style of play, may make him a risky choice to promote as the second-choice right-back but it would seem that he has the capability to adapt if required.

Chambers option

A more conservative choice, would be to deploy newly-capped Chambers as a right-back as he so often was last season at Southampton in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne.

It has often been said that Chambers' frame is too big to be a natural right-back, but this seems somewhat ironic considering that Arsenal's own Carl Jenkinson is infact an inch taller. Comfortable on the ball and calm in defence, Chambers would seem the more sensible option for the time being despite Bellerin being just two months younger.

However, due to the fact that Chambers is also the third-choice centre-back, an injury to one of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and also Debuchy could lead to the pair lining up alongside each other.

Emergency cover

In the bizarre event of Debuchy, Chambers and Bellerin all being injured at the same time, Francis Coquelin can also cover the position, with even Aaron Ramsey having played there after Jenkinson's red-card against Sunderland in 12/13.

Who do you think should be Arsenal's backup right-back? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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