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Arsenal's Hector Bellerin talks up Mikel Arteta qualities

Hector Bellerin talks up Mikel Arteta qualities
© Reuters
Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin hails Mikel Arteta's influence on the squad after a difficult first full season in the Emirates hotseat.

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has launched a staunch defence of manager Mikel Arteta following the Gunners' underwhelming 2020-21 season.

Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory during his first half-season in charge, but his side could only muster an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League last term as they prepare for a campaign without European football.

The Spaniard's future in the Gunners hotseat has since been called into question, but Bellerin - whose own future is also up in the air - believes that his former teammate has made positive changes at the club.

Speaking to the High Performance Podcast, Bellerin said: "I think, personally, at Arsenal, emphasis on small details is something which has changed a lot.

"The ethics and the way we work since Mikel has been the manager of the club have completely changed. These behaviours, our behaviours, have been rewarded by him.

"And these behaviours, our behaviours have been awarded by them. There's more emphasis on that behaviour, so the way we run back or the way we create space for a player.

"Because you know you can move to receive the ball, you can move to get a player away or you can move into space, there's so many ways you can move for and sometimes a goal is created not by the player that passes the ball or by the player that scores but by the player that actually created the space.

"And many people, like the fans in the stands or even the pundits sometimes, they won't see that. But truly that's what we've practised, that's what the coach has asked, and by the player doing that we're able to score.

"I think even sometimes for the players it's hard to see, when other teams do it and stuff, but we know in our dressing room and in the way we play that we scored that goal thanks to that player."

Arsenal are thought to be open to offers of £20m for Bellerin this summer, and the right-back is being tipped to return to his native Spain with Real Betis or Villarreal.

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