Hector Bellerin is Arsenal's fastest player. That's a claim that Theo Walcott has tried to fight against ever since the young Spaniard broke his 40-yard record last year. But now, it seems there is little doubt about it.
The 20-year-old has proven time and again that a right-back can do basically whatever he wants on a football pitch, so long as he has the pace to recover.
That theory was tested to its absolutely maximum during yesterday's 3-0 win over Swansea City. Despite the dominant scoreline, those travelling Arsenal fans present at the Liberty Stadium knew the result could have been very different had Bafetimbi Gomis buried his one-on-one opportunity against Petr Cech in the first half.
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With Arsenal's defensive line sitting on the other side of the halfway line, Jonjo Shelvey played the striker in with a lovely through-ball. He was so in – more in than James Bond at a single ladies evening.
But Bellerin had other ideas. He prepared the hyperdrive and aimed his rocket-propelled legs straight at his own penalty area. Just over six seconds later, he arrived and swept the ball away from an incredulous Gomis.
Just take a look at this:
Click here for an alternative video if that one goes down
But how fast was he going?
Using a very sophisticated – and very free – online stopwatch, I have calculated that from the time Shelvey passed the ball to when Bellerin kicked it out for a corner, 6.32 seconds passed.
Swansea's pitch measure 104 metres across and Bellerin, who started well in the opposition half, has certainly run at least 52 of those. 52 metres in 6.32 seconds, on grass, in football boots. Fast.
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