Hector Bellerin received his first Spain call-up for four years on Saturday, after an injury to Jesus Navas opened up a spot for him.
The Spanish National Team Twitter account posted on Sunday to confirm that there would be a last-minute change to their squad. Jesus Navas picked up an injury and had to withdraw, leaving the path open for Hector Bellerin to take his place.
Bellerin’s last Spain call-up was for EURO 2016, but he didn’t play a game at the event. His last appearance for his country was a friendly match in the June before the tournament. He provided an assist against South Korea in his last start.
The 25-year-old’s injury record played a part. Since his last call-up, he’s had five separate injuries lasting a total of 346 days, almost an entire year of the four.
His ACL injury also took a lot longer to fully recover from than just the initial 240 days out. He made u23 appearances, brief first team cameos, and only really returned to the team two months after he was officially fit. Then it was months more to return to his best.
But right now, Bellerin is earning his spot with Spain. He has four assists in 10 games this season, and he’s proving a key part of Mikel Arteta’s system.
The right-back’s ability to adapt to what his new coach wants is really encouraging. It wasn’t easy for him at first tucking in when he wasn’t used to it. Luis Enrique will have noted the way Bellerin came through that period.
Now it’s just about impressing with the national team in training, pushing to get those chances on the pitch.