Arsenal right-back Héctor Bellerín is quickly becoming one of the best fullbacks in Europe.
The nature of the job isn’t simple in the modern game. You have to be sound defensively and potent on the front foot. Thankfully, Arsenal have a 20-year-old who is both, and will only get better.
Central midfielder Santi Cazorla (119) and Francis Coquelin (88) had more touches than the Spanish defender (83) across the 90 minutes.
Before the weekend began, Bellerín had created more clear cut chances than any other Premier League player this season and it was easy to see why. His runs in the final third are cutting – he doesn’t just overlap, but often underlaps the players ahead of him to burst into space. His ability to accelerate helps massively as he bursts forward off the ball intelligently.
When in dangerous positions, he is intelligent enough to get his head up and create something. The first half saw him almost find Nacho Monreal for a tap-in as he continued to beat Nathan Aké at left-back for Watford.
Over the course of the game, Bellerín completed four take-ons. His close control is superb for a young defender. The third Arsenal goal, assisted by the right-back, saw him beat his man before sliding Aaron Ramsey a neat pass.
Defensively this was far from Bellerín’s busiest game, but he looked solid aerially again versus a physical Watford side. He only missed one tackle, though he only had to make three, as the hosts rarely troubled him. Watford created six chances and completed three crosses on Saturday evening, but not one came down Arsenal’s right.
It’s incredible that Bellerín is only 20; Arsenal have a potential superstar playing at the back. He’s good defensively and has the ability to be great going forward, cherish it.