Hector Bellerin has played every minute of the Premier League season and seems to be playing his way into form, despite criticism from supporters.
Bellerin had become a target of criticism from the fans for some of his displays this season. It wasn’t without some merit. For a time, it seemed the Spaniard was really struggling and looked off the pace.
Yet, Wenger kept faith with him, and now, only Bellerin and Petr Cech have played every minute of Arsenal’s Premier League season so far.
The manager has been rewarded with some good recent performances. There was a spring in the step of the 22-year-old against Chelsea. He looked quicker and sharper, timed his challenges well and scored a brilliant late equaliser.
Wenger praised his right-back’s resolve after the game. “Well, what you get at the moment, no matter who you are, is criticism,” he said, as reported by Arsenal.com.
“That’s for free on the market. It flies around in a very severe way and that, I think every player gets that. The only response they can give is on the football pitch and he is a remarkable fighter.”
Bellerin’s constant presence in the side is partly down to a simple lack of cover. Mathieu Debuchy did return to the first-team during Arsenal’s cup matches, but was never seriously in content for a starting spot in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Calum Chambers is being used at centre-back, and Carl Jenkinson is playing for Birmingham on loan in the Championship. Yet, he also holds that position because he is a good player.
He can always improve, but he does give his all in every game. That effort has seen him start to climb out of his slump and reach a good level again. Should he stay injury free, he’ll likely play in every league game this season.
If he puts in more performances like he did against Chelsea, that can only be a good thing.