Bellerin: This is how Mertesacker and Cazorla rescued my form

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has thanked his teammates for their recent help.

Arsenal teenager Hector Bellerin has thanked the club's senior players for helping him recover from a potentially devastating blow.

The inexperienced Spaniard was taken off at half-time during the loss to Stoke with the team 3-0 down, and players with lesser mental strength would have needed a while to recover.

Not Bellerin, he went straight back into the side in successive Champions League and Premier League games, and showed he match at the Britannia was more likely to be the exception rather than the rule.

Speaking on Thursday, he has thanked two players in particular for wise words of advice.

He told "Everyone’s been really supportive after I was taken off at half-time [against Stoke]. It’s obviously the boss’ decision and it was good because we scored twice after that, but all the experienced players know when they need to help you and they’ve all been really supportive. Thanks to them I had that reaction on Saturday.

"Per said in a few interviews that I need to speak more and to be more communicative on the pitch. Santi told me to play my game, forget about everything else and just enjoy myself on the pitch. That’s what I’ve been taking on board and I think I’m doing it better.”

Being able to guide the young defenders through is exactly what Per Mertesacker is expected to do, even though Sky pundit Jamie Carragher publicly criticised him for appearing to not be doing so on the pitch at the Britannia.

Bellerin showed a complete turnaround against Newcastle, confident dribbling with the ball at right-back, causing trouble for the opposing defence and even grabbing an assist, the perfect tonic to the experience a week earlier.

Whether he gets a chance against Liverpool, in the tough Anfield atmosphere is another matter though with Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy available. If he does, that will be the real test of how much he has learned.

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