“He’s been absolutely fantastic.”
Arsene Wenger rarely holds back his admiration for his players and, when it comes to Hector Bellerin, the gaffer is down right glowing. Since his debut in 2014, the Spanish right-back has been nothing short of a revelation for the defense, providing lightning speed, timely tackles and great passing. He’s risen from promising prospect plucked from Barcelona to one of the premier defenders in Europe.
Wenger, it seems, agrees:
“His progress has been absolutely spectacular because he has absolutely top mental strength, I think he loves as well to be here and he has responsibilities already in the dressing room for such a young age, it’s something remarkable.”
So it comes as no surprise that Arsenal have begun negotiating a new long term contract with Bellerin, despite having three years remaining on the current one. Arsenal seem prepared to make certain Bellerin is rewarded for his sterling play, increasing his current salary of £50,000-a-week.
With speculation of Man City and Barcelona sniffing about after Hector, Wenger told reporters that Arsenal are opening talks and refutes rumours that Bellerin’s future is anywhere but at Arsenal.
Look, he has nearly three years to go and we always try get the players to the level where we think they deserve to be. So we try to extend, certainly, his contract. We will try to extend his contract as well, but for me, his long-term future is here. That’s why I’m surprised by the speculation.
He also dismissed the idea that Bellerin couldn’t be happy until he went back to Spain.
No, I think now that you do not necessarily have to play where you were born. Modern life is not exactly like that and what is important is that the players meets his needs where he is and his values, and I think he integrated very well the values of our club and he came at a very, very young age of 15 and a half, 16 years of age. I think he is a real Arsenal player.
All of this is very encouraging and points to Arsenal’s willingness to commit to their stars financially, which should put a big roadblock in the path of teams poaching Arsenal’s talent, as they have in recent seasons, and make Arsenal a more desirable club to join. This is a step forward for the stability of Arsenal.