Ex-Spurs man: 'Mauled' Arsenal teenager Bellerin proved he has a bright future

Arsenal teenager Hector Bellerin's performance against Newcastle has been praised.

The door to the first team has been open for Hector Bellerin all season, but the Spaniard has been hanging around the entry point.

He has not looked especially comfortable in previous matches, and Arsene Wenger has preferred Calum Chambers there when available at right-back and not needed in the centre.

Against Newcastle at the weekend, everything appeared to change. Bellerin looked like a new player, his confidence regained, and adding value in attack.

Former Spurs player Garth Crooks selected Bellerin in his BBC Team of the Week, and was highly complimentary about the defender.

He said: "I saw this lad substituted during the first-half mauling at Stoke last week but the way he returned to face an in form Newcastle United was impressive. The young full-back showed no sign of the insecurity that seemed to engulf him at the Britannia Stadium.

"On the contrary, the Spaniard was full of youthful endeavour and even provided the cross for Olivier Giroud to score his second of the match. A kid with a bright future."

Crooks also selected Arsenal stars Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud in his weekend XI.

The timing of his improved performance is welcome for Bellerin, and Arsene Wenger now has a selection decision on his hands.

Mathieu Debuchy is the clear first choice at right-back, but his impressive game in the centre could lead to more outings there while Laurent Koscielny is injured, leading to a straight choice between Bellerin and Chambers, whose suspension is now over.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch