Hector Bellerin has confirmed that the main reason he signed a new contract with Arsenal is to repay Arsene Wenger.

It was widely speculated before the right-back put pen to paper that he would only stay in north London, rather than return to his former club, Barcelona, if Wenger stayed as well. While I don’t know how set the 21-year-old was on actually leaving any time soon, he has confirmed that the boss is part of the reason why he chose to pledge his future to the club.

“Arsene was really influential for me on the moment when I signed to come over here,” the defender told the Daily Mirror [via Goal].

“He was there talking to me when I first got to the Emirates and he was one of the reasons why I signed with the club. 

“Just the confidence he has given me, especially after not the greatest debut at Dortmund – my first games weren’t the best!  

“From then, I always knew I wanted to repay him and that’s what I’m doing right now and obviously that is why I wanted to stay at the club.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Middlesbrough at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 22: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Middlesbrough at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Bellerin isn’t the only player who has credited Wenger as the reason they’re even at Arsenal. Mesut Ozil has also spoken about wanting to develop further under the boss, which is why he left Real Madrid.

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“I knew that if I moved to Arsenal, I would develop myself further, especially under the boss,” the 28-year-old said.

“I’m on a good way, the team really supports me, the manager gives me his trust and you see that I enjoy myself on the pitch.”

Wenger still has the pulling power he used to and if he’s able to encourage top players to stay at the club for years to come, his name definitely still carries weight.

Hopefully it continues to for a little bit longer…