MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 04:47:53

Arsene Wenger: 'Hector Bellerin ideal replacement for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain'

Wenger: 'Bellerin ideal replacement for Ox'
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Hector Bellerin has a "fantastic mentality" and will successfully adapt to Arsenal's new formation, according to manager Arsene Wenger.

Arsene Wenger has tipped Hector Bellerin to successfully step in for injured teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when Arsenal take on Stoke City this weekend.

The Spanish defender will be asked to slot in at wing-back for the trip to the bet365 Stadium due to the likely absence of Oxlade-Chamberlain, who damaged his hamstring in the 2-0 win over Southampton on Wednesday night.

Bellerin has struggled for form and was taken out of the firing line by Wenger last month after being jeered by his own supporters at Selhurst Park, but the Frenchman believes that his new 3-4-2-1 formation will get the best out of the 22-year-old.

"Yes he is [a natural replacement], he is an offensive player," Wenger told reporters. "He started as a right midfielder and we transformed him into a full-back.

"He's a player who has a fantastic mentality. He went through a difficult period when he came back from his ankle injury, but I never questioned his attitude. He has great spirit."

Oxlade-Chamberlain is to undergo further tests on his damaged hamstring on Friday, but the injury is not expected to rule him out for the rest of the season.


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Mark Hughes watches on during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Stoke City on May 6, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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