One key pass, three dribbles: Arsenal's Hector Bellerin shows strengths and flaws in 45 minutes

Hector Bellerin 2

The promising Hector Bellerin proved why Arsene Wenger has been reluctant to use him more in the 3-2 defeat at Stoke City.

Arsenal slumped to a shock 3-2 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday afternoon after a disastrous defensive start saw Arsene Wenger’s side three goals down at half-time.

The Gunners fell behind to a Peter Crouch goal within seconds of the kick-off, before Bojan Krkic sidefooted in the second in the 35th-minute and Jon Walters added the third just before the break.

Bojan then saw a goal disallowed after the interval, as the visitors rallied through Santi Cazorla’s 68th-minute spot-kick and Aaron Ramsey’s volleyed effort from an Alexis Sanchez corner two minutes later.

Arsenal's task was made harder, however, when Chambers was sent off for a second bookable offence 12 minutes from time, as Stoke held on to claim all three points.

19-year-old right-back Hector Bellerin was making only his second league start for the club on the afternoon, but the youngster showed glimpses of the attacking qualities which have made him such a talked-up prospect, teeing up Olivier Giroud with a fine cross in the 10th-minute which the Frenchman should have headed in.

  Total Key PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesAccurate CrossesTotal TacklesInterceptionsDuels WonDuel SuccessTotal DribblesSuccessful DribblesMins Played
Héctor Bellerín 1 12 92% 1 1 2 1 3 37.5% 3 1 45

However, after fans had been calling for him to start in recent weeks, it was clear why Wenger had previously been reluctant to give in to their demands, with the Spaniard allowing Bojan to cross for Crouch’s opener, before being given all kinds of problems by his compatriot and Mame Biram Diouf during the first-half.

With his inexperience evident for all to see, his manager had seen enough after 45 minutes, as the former Barcelona trainee found himself sacrificed for Danny Welbeck at the break in a tactical shift.

Ultimately, while it’s clear that Bellerin has a bright future at the Emirates Stadium, regular Premier League minutes are not something he should be seeing at this stage of his development.

The Under-19 international possesses exceptional physical and technical gifts, with his pace and dribbling prowess on display on Saturday afternoon, but he is just too defensively raw at the moment to be relied upon as anything over than a bit-part player.

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