Hector Bellerin says he loves learning how to defend from Steve Bould and admits his career has been moulded by the Arsenal coach’s influence.
The Spaniard, who moved from Barcelona to the Emirates in 2011, spent his formative years as a winger before embarking on remarkable and rapid transformation into a dependable right-back.
Now the Arsene Wenger’s first choice right-back the 21-year-old explained how much he has benefitted from the wise words of one of the Gunners’ most famous defenders:
“When I first came to Arsenal, I didn’t know how to defend,” he told The Sun.
“If there was a person who I had to identify as helping me a lot, that would have to be Bould. I was a winger but from the Under-18s up, I remember him just showing me the basics.
“Even then, I remember him sometimes holding his head like, ‘What is Hector doing?’. He’s been one of the key people in my career. He’s one of the reasons I’m here now.
“When we defended the FA Cup, I reminded Steve of all those times stressing in training, or when we lost the Youth Cup, which was such a big thing for us.
“Steve was a top defender himself and has so much knowledge.
“Sometimes when he’s speaking, I just laugh because he makes it look so easy and so obvious, and you haven’t realised before. I really enjoy learning with him.”
Elsewhere, fellow Spanish full-back, Nacho Monreal, says he’s feeling pretty peachy about life in London.
Pinpointing the importance of learning English to his ability to settle both on and off the pitch, the 29-year-old told Arsenal Player: “I can say that I feel at home on and off the pitch.
“If you don’t feel good off the pitch and in life in general, obviously you can’t give 100 per cent. However, at the moment, I love England, I love London and I love my team-mates so everything is positive.
“When I arrived here I knew that the first thing I had to do was learn English because, if you want to speak to your team-mates, the staff and anyone here, you need to learn the language. It was difficult for me because I’m very bad with different languages but I am trying.
“Mikel, Santi and Hector were very helpful for me because I didn’t speak English when I arrived, I didn’t understand anything, so every time I had a problem or didn’t understand something they explained it to me.
“Even in the evenings, sometimes you have nothing to do and you can spend your time with them. They helped me a lot.”