Kevin Kilbane has claimed that Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin has declined considerably in recent years, but unfortunately the Spaniard is not alone.
Arsene Wenger has always been known for his ability to blood young players into his first-team squad, and has brought through a number of the current squad up through the ranks, but they all appear to be struggling at present.
Alex Iwobi, Francis Coquelin, Bellerin and Jack Wilshere all burst onto the scenes when getting their chance to impress in the Gunners starting line-ups, but Hector is the only one playing week-in week-out.
The Spanish international has now come under criticism for seemingly going on the downturn, and was even dropped to the bench last season after a number of disappointing displays. Kilbane has now stated how surprising his rapid decline has become.
“Hector Bellerin has gone from being one of the best right-backs in football to almost now thinking he’s not good enough to get in the Arsenal side,” Kilbane told Irish radio station Newstalk.
“It’s incredible the decline in Bellerin.”
Francis Coquelin is another who broke into the first-team a few seasons back, and looked like he was going to be the latest player to prove Wenger right for sticking with him for so long, but he is my least favourite central midfielder to start currently.
It isn’t only the players who earned their way through the ranks who are seemingly struggling currently however, with a number of top players also no longer rated so highly.
Laurent Koscielny was arguably the best centre-back in the Premier League a couple of years ago, but would now miss out on most people’s top five. Mesut Ozil arrived as a top player with a wealth of coveted trophies, but he is certainly not worth the amount we paid for him any more.
Ozil clearly retains that ability, but shows it so sparingly that it frustrates, and he is most certainly a luxury to have in the team, but with no contract signed as yet, we may regret underappreciating him in 12 months time.
Is Wenger dragging these players down? Are the players no longer proud to be at Arsenal?