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Bellerin, Martinez extend loans

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Two youngsters have extended their loan period away from the club

Jamie McDonald

Two of Arsenal's promising young talent, Hector Bellerin and Damian Martinez, have extended their loan contract until the end of the 2013/14 season. Bellerin, who is on loan at Watford, had not started since Watford's 1-0 loss at home to Sheffield Wednesday due to injury, but he started and played all 90 minutes last Sunday in Watford's 0-0 draw with QPR, and was perhaps Watford's best player in an unfamiliar left wingback position.

Martinez has been on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, and had a run of starts when Chris Kirkland was injured. Kirkland is back, forcing Martinez to return to a deputising role, but he still has the opportunity to get some exposure to first team football that he wouldn't have at Arsenal, with Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Emiliano Viviano ahead of him.

Obviously, the goal for these two players is to get as much action as possible, but also to continue to show adaptability, to another league, and, in the case of Bellerin, to some different positions and playing styles. By becoming more adaptable, they not only boost their own talent, but become far more useful when they return to Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Austin Lipman, 18, and Anthony Jeffrey, 19, have had their loan contract at Conference South side Boreham Wood extended until March.