Hector Bellerin may have only stepped onto the King Power turf in the 86th minute, but in his short time on the pitch, he demonstrated exactly what Mikel Arteta wants to see from his substitutes.
Straight into the action, at the point in which the Spaniard came on, there was still uncertainty surrounding the game. While Arsenal were in the lead, Ayoze Perez, who came on nine minutes prior, had just missed a golden opportunity to equalise. The Foxes were unwilling to accept defeat.
Ready to join the Gunners attack at any point, Bellerin’s presence benefited Arsenal greatly as he played a direct role in putting the result beyond any doubt. Receiving the ball from Nicolas Pepe in a more central position, he drove by Christian Fuchs and Hamza Choudury, in a similar fashion to the way he did in the FA Cup final, before squaring for Eddie Nketiah to score.
While this will stand as the lasting impact from the 25-year-old’s performance, it builds on the strong start to the season he has had this term.
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Recovering from his ACL injury and the setbacks that followed for the majority of the 2019/20 campaign, it became difficult for Bellerin to build real consistency. Early on under Arteta, this was very evident as playing while injured led to sub-par performances, most notably in the Europa League exit against Olympiacos.
Gradually, he has become more efficient as the side’s right wing-back. After the restart, there were matches where he was clearly improving in regards to Arteta’s demands of playing in more central areas but his execution in the final third was still inconsistent.
Following an outstanding FA Cup final performance, he has built on that in the 2020/21 campaign. In the Community Shield, he was very tidy in possession and alert out of it. At Fulham, his performance wasn’t…