How Hector Bellerin has fared at right-back? by SE
Hector Bellerin has been fortunate to have made so many first-team appearances this season, though none of us can take anything away from the promise he showed even before the ongoing season began. He was one of the star players for Arsenal during the Emirates cup, when he ran the Benfica rearguard ragged and showed how good a player going forward he can be. He has been fortunate to have had so many options because of Mathieu Debuchy’s ankle sprain and dislocated shoulder injuries that have restricted the French right-back to just 11 appearances in his first season as an Arsenal player. In his absence, how has Bellerin fared at right-back?
In 12 Premier League appearances so far, Bellerin’s stats suggest that he has been a better defender than we have presumed on the basis of his performances. The 20-year old Spaniard has won 56% of his 39 attempted tackles and 44% of his aerial duels. Being a short man, it is understandable that Bellerin is not good at winning balls in the air, as a Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker tend to. Bellerin has also made 27 interceptions, 44 clearances and 2 blocks during close to 15 hours of Premier League action. He also has committed 8 fouls in 12 league appearances, 3 of which have resulted in yellow cards.
Bellerin has been impressive in an attacking sense, too. He has created 6 chances from open play, scoring 1 goal that came against Aston Villa at the Emirates and completing 80% of his attempted passes. With his speed and ability to go past defenders, Bellerin has completed 56% of his 27 attempted take-ons in the Premier League.
In 4 UEFA Champions League appearances this season, starting with the game against Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park, Bellerin has been solid at right-back. He won an impressive 15 of his 18 attempted tackles and 5 of his 6 aerial duels, both in a defensive as well in an offensive sense. Bellerin also completed 80% of his attempted passes and enjoyed a success rate of 90% in 10 attempted take-ons, indicating the command he had over his playing position. His most impressive Champions League game this season happened to be against AS Monaco at home which, unfortunately, his side went onto lose.
For a player of such a young age and tenuous physique, Bellerin has done exceedingly well to make 18 appearances across all competitions, not commit a defensive error and produce great quality while going forward. Playing in the big games hasn’t bothered him, either, and he looks to be a really promising player for Arsenal in the years to come.