Arsenal youngster aims to guide Gunners back to Wembley in FA Cup
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Hector Bellerin is hoping he can be part of an Arsenal return to Wembley after gaining his first taste of FA Cup football.
The teenage right-back played the full 90 minutes on Sunday as the Gunners launched their defence of the trophy with a 2-0 victory against Hull at Emirates Stadium.
And Bellerin, who has now featured in all four competitions for Arsenal this season, is confident he can help the holders to maintain their grip on the cup and achieve back to back successes.
“That’s the aim for the team,” said the 19-year-old. “We need to defend the cup as well as we can and I think we’ve got a really good team, like last year.
“We did it last year and I think we can do it this year as well, so that’s what we’ll be pushing for.
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“The FA Cup is always a hard competition and you need to give your best in only one game and I think the team showed character.
“We were really solid and attacking-wise we showed good desire, so I’m really pleased to get the win.”
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Bellerin made his first-team debut for Arsenal in a Capital One Cup tie at West Brom in September 2013 before moving on loan to Championship side Watford.
Despite a successful spell at Vicarage Road, the Catalan defender had to wait another seven months to sample senior football again, after an injury crisis saw him thrust into the side for Arsenal’s Champions League group tie in Dortmund.
Since then, Bellerin has recorded another seven first-team appearances and he feels his efforts – particularly Sunday’s clean sheet, alongside another young defender in Calum Chambers – may have given manager Arsene Wenger food for thought.
“We had two young players at the back and we showed we were solid and that we can defend,” said Bellerin.
“That’s our duty, we’re really pleased with the clean sheet and I think that shows the coach that he can choose from a lot of different players. As a young player you always want to get as many games as you can.
“I’m really pleased with the games I’ve been getting – now I just need to keep pushing. I wish to get more starts and I have to work hard every day to get more game time.”
Although Arsenal’s first choice right-back, Mathieu Debuchy, returned from injury last month, understudy Carl Jenkinson is on a season-long loan at West Ham – so there are likely to be further opportunities for the youngster in the near future.
“You learn from a lot of the players here, every little detail, and the defenders obviously give me more advice because that’s my position,” added Bellerin.
“The coaches on the defensive side, like [assistant manager] Steve Bould, also help me a lot and so does the boss. Everyone has got his little piece of advice for me.”
The Gunners have been drawn away to Championship strugglers Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round, with the tie to be played on Sunday January 25.