Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque has told Spanish radio show El Larguero that Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin will be an important player for the country at Euro 2016 and into the future, as quoted by ESPN.
Bellerin was called up to the Spanish senior squad for the first time as a standby option for this month's tournament, and after making his debut in the friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday he was named in the final squad after Dani Carvajal pulled out through injury.
The 21-year-old full-back was chosen by Del Bosque ahead of Villarreal right-back Mario Gaspar, who played during qualifying and has scored twice from his first three caps.
Bellerin enjoyed a superb season at club level with the Gunners, making 44 appearances in all competitions and missing just two Premier League matches as he established himself as the club's undisputed first choice at right-back.
Del Bosque cited that impressive domestic form as a key reason for the youngster's inclusion, and stated his belief that Bellerin will be a vital player for Spain over the next few years.
"Once Carvajal was injured we had the kids with us, and [Bellerin] has been doing very well at Arsenal in recent years.
"We have full confidence in him. Bellerin will be an important player for sure, in the present, and in the future of the Spanish team."
Bellerin was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award in recognition of his fine domestic campaign, but can now turn his attentions to beginning to stake his claim to the starting spot at right-back for his country.
He will face a battle with Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Atletico Madrid's Juanfran, who have 30 caps between them, to be a part of the starting XI for the reigning European champions.