Hector Bellerín has said that he found parts of last season tough, especially the change in formation.

Generally Bellerín was a clear first-choice player in 2016/17, but he has a particularly difficult time when Arsenal fell out of form, taking a fair portion of the blame himself and having to endure boos and negative chants when he went to applaud fans after the 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace.

After that, the formation changed, and Arsenal found their form again. But this came at the expense of Hector in a way, as Oxlade-Chamberlain was preferred for the now singular right-sided position, whereas before the two could play together.

Then came the links to Barcelona, despite the six-and-a-half year deal Bellerín signed with Arsenal in the previous winter. He has told Twitter not to believe the speculation, but this hasn’t stopped it:

One of the reasons that Hector lost form last season was to do with injuries he sustained during the season but had to play through.

He said in the Metro article: “It was a tough season for the club and me personally as well. I had a few injuries and changing the system also didn’t favour me in the last few games.

“Last season was about cementing myself in the first-team squad and I’m glad the boss gave me the chance to do that.”

Hector is now back in training with the rest of the team, although he may not be ready for full first-team action in time for the next pre-season games at the weekend.

He’s still very young for a player of his experience, with 114 appearances for Arsenal by age 22, so he should continue to improve if given the chances and backing of the manager and fans.