With injuries to Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal and a tonsil infection for Calum Chambers, there was some speculation over whether Mathieu Flamini would start at right back for Arsenal today against Borussia Dortmund, or Arsene Wenger would hand a full debut to Hector Bellerin. We've got our answer -- the young Spaniard will have his first Arsenal start today.
The rumors met a fever pitch earlier today, when Damian Emiliano Martinez tweeted this:
All the best to my brother @HectorBellerin as he starts his first game for Arsenal #quality pic.twitter.com/0KqVUPBdAr— Damian Emi Martinez (@emimartinezz1) September 16, 2014
But with the release of the team sheets for the match, we have official confirmation. It's #Bellerin2014, baby.
For those not yet initiated as members of Bellerin FC, what should you expect? For one, speed. Lots of it. Hector holds the Arsenal 40-meter dash record once held by Theo Walcott, and Thierry Henry before him. He should have the pace to assist going forward and still cover back without leaving the rest of the defense stranded. Additionally, as a former midfielder, Bellerin is highly skilled technically, so when he does go forward he knows what to do with the ball.
There may be some growing pains, but this is an exciting moment both for the player and for those of us who have been following his rise through Arsenal's youth ranks. Here's hoping his debut is auspicious.