Ahead of tonight’s Europa League clash with Cologne, Hector Bellerin has sung the praises of Reiss Nelson who is in contention for a starting place against the Bundesliga side.
The 17 year old has appeared in all four European games this season – starting the last three – and the Spaniard has been impressed with how the youngster has adapted to a more defensive role.
At youth level he played most of his football further forward, but has been handed the responsibility on the right hand side. It’s no easy task, something Bellerin acknowledges.
“When you compete against teams in the Europa League and you’re able to adapt from a No 10 role to a wing-back role, I think that’s remarkable at that age,” he told the official site.
“He needs to keep his feet on the floor in the same way that he’s been doing up until now and, if he keeps going the way he’s going, I’m sure he will have a great career.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to be able to play in these competitions now and I think he’s taking his opportunities really well.”
And there were some words of advice among the praise too.
“When you come from an attacking role and you’re put in a position to defend, I think the most important thing to do is listen to the players around you,” Bellerin continued.
“Especially when he’s got the opportunity to play alongside people like Mathieu Debuchy who have played at the top level for a long time. It’s about listening to them, communicating with them and asking questions.”
Arsenal will definitely top their Europa League group with a win tonight, but a draw could clinch top spot if Red Star Belgrade fail to beat BATE Borisov in the other game.