There have been many Arsenal rumours this summer saying that Hector Bellerin does want to return to his hometown of Barcelona, but he has now come out and done an interview on the official Arsenal website about his early years at the club. He may only be 22 now, but he arrived along with Jon Toral in 2011 at the tender age of 16, and he has revealed that he found the training sessions hard at the beginning. “We were blowing, we had no breath whatsoever,” he told Arsenal.com. “We were thinking ‘what have we got ourselves into? This is not what we came here to do!” But then in the afternoon we played some football.
“That was what struck us the most though. When we were back at Barcelona everything was with the ball, even every single physical activity, it always involved the ball.
“So it was a bit different to us but by the second season I wasn’t one of the last players in the runs, I was one of the first, so you could see the improvement I had made physically.
“That’s certainly the thing that struck me the most at first.”
Hector then went on to name the people who influenced him the most in his realier years, and surprisingly the biggest football influence was Wenger’s assistant Steve Bould who was surely brought in to help Wenger with the defensive side of training. “I could name a lot of people but if I had to say one on the pitch, then obviously Steve Bould was one of my biggest mentors, I’ve always said that,” Bellerin continued. “He’s probably the one I learnt the most from here at Arsenal.
“But as well Dennis Rockall was our kit man, and he really made us feel at home from the very first day. He got us into English culture, and even taught us some cockney rhyming slang. A load of that stuff, he told us all sorts about where to go on holiday here in the UK, all random things like that, but it was good for our knowledge and helped us settle in.
“He was a very welcoming person and was always taking care of the foreign guys. He retired a couple of years ago and it was sad, because you always like to see those sort of people around the club.
“It’s the same with Vic Akers in the first-team dressing room. I could name a lot of people who helped me at the start at Arsenal – my landlady and family that I lived with – everyone made me feel at home.”
Many fans complain about Bouldy, because the only time they ever see him is chewing gum on the touchline during games, but it would appear that he has definitely been doing his job behind the scenes with the young defenders. But after reading this interview, do you think Bellerin sounds like he wants to go back to Barcelona? Or is he very grateful to the whole Arsenal setup, especially Bouldy, for making him into a star?