Hector Bellerin could be in line to make his Arsenal debut this week, with Arsene Wenger expressing his belief that the youngster is ready to play amid a defensive injury crisis that has engulfed the Gunners in recent days.
Wenger would appear to have a real problem at the back ahead of Tuesday evening's Champions League Group D opener against Borussia Dortmund in Germany, with Mathieu Debuchy reportedly facing three months on the sidelines with an ankle problem sustained during the entertaining 2-2 draw with champions Manchester City on Saturday.
Fellow full-back Nacho Monreal has not travelled to Signal Iduna Park and Calum Chambers - the versatile starlet who only joined Arsenal from Premier League rivals Southampton this summer - is struggling for fitness due to an unfortunate bout of illness.
As reported by the Daily Express, such problems could lead to the necessary inclusion of young Bellerin, a player that Wenger believes is ready to step into the breach if called upon despite an obvious lack of experience at the highest level.
"We have Chambers who can play in different positions, Monreal who can play centre-back and Bellerin, who I think now is ready to play," he said.
"He's a boy with personality. He's not fazed by the pressure. That's important when you're a young boy. His transitional game is fantastic. He's quick and his final ball is good. He lacks a bit of experience but he's very dangerous."
Spanish youth international Bellerin has been at Arsenal for three years now, having followed the now well-worn trail first blazed by a certain Cesc Fabregas by moving to the Emirates Stadium from Catalan giants Barcelona in 2011.
While he obviously has potential, the 19-year-old has yet to make a senior start for the Gunners and spent a month out on loan with Championship outfit Watford last season.
As well as obvious confidence, one thing Bellerin certainly does not lack in abundance is pace.
Indeed, notoriously fast Arsenal winger Theo Walcott - who himself has spent the last eight months out injured but is hoping to return to the first-team fold later this month - confirmed in a question and answer session last month that Bellerin had beaten his club sprint record that once belonged to the legendary Thierry Henry and would now appear to have been re-set by fellow youngster Chuba Akpom.
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