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Bellerin honoured to captain Arsenal on injury return

PUBLISHED: 11:46 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:46 04 October 2019

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin acknowledges the fans after the UEFA Europa League Group F match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: John Walton/PA

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin acknowledges the fans after the UEFA Europa League Group F match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: John Walton/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Hector Bellerin was honoured to be named Arsenal captain on his first start since returning from injury, as the Gunners beat Standard Liege 4-0 in the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday night.

Arsenal's Kieran Tierney (left) and Hector Bellerin after the UEFA Europa League Group F match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: John Walton/PAArsenal's Kieran Tierney (left) and Hector Bellerin after the UEFA Europa League Group F match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: John Walton/PA

The 24-year-old was given the armband by Unai Emery as he played 90 minutes following nine months on the sideline with an ACL injury.

Bellerin was bursting with pride after leading the team following a difficult recovery.

"For me there's not a better way to come back," he said.

"I feel very honoured to wear the Arsenal armband and to lead the team out the tunnel and I'm very grateful that my team-mates and the coaches trust me to do that.

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"It's been a tough road for me for the past eight months but I feel very lucky with the people that I had around me and all the physios and the coaches and all the players and obviously my friends and family have helped me a lot.

"Even though it's been very dark at times, it's very beautiful to be able to make a debut [as captain] and play a game like this, and enjoy my football like that."

The right-back was also delighted with Arsenal's performance, as goals from Joe Willock, Dani Ceballos and two from Gabriel Martinelli saw them cruise to victory.

"I think it was a great win for the team, for the spirit and for the momentum that we're building in the team and for us this competition is really important," said Bellerin.

"We came into this game after beating Nottingham Forest at home in the Carabao Cup and it was a similar kind of game in which the team never stop giving 100 per cent even when we're 3-0 up or 4-0 up.

"We want to score more goals and we want to play 100 per cent because that's the best way to show respect in football, always playing 100 per cent and that's what the team did.

"Even those who came on as a sub, they gave everything so for us it's something that we can take a lot of positives from to keep on improving."

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