Arsene Wenger ready to bring back Hector Bellerin

12 May 2017 09:39

Arsene Wenger is ready to put his faith back in Hector Bellerin as the Spanish full-back is set for a recall against Stoke on Saturday.

The 22-year-old has been relegated to the bench in recent weeks as the Gunners look to salvage their Premier League season by gatecrashing the top four.

Bellerin has started just one of the last six games despite his style appearing to suit Wenger's change in formation.

He was singled out for criticism by Arsenal fans during the 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace last month and now the former Barcelona youngster, who has been linked with a return to Catalonia this summer, is likely to come into the team for a vital game at the bet365 Stadium.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been operating as Wenger's right-sided wing-back but limped out of Wednesday's 2-0 win at Southampton with a hamstring issue.

And Wenger insists he has no concerns with calling on Bellerin as they look for their first win at Stoke since 2010.

"He's an offensive player," the Arsenal boss explained.

"He started as a right midfielder and was transformed into a full-back.

"Look, he's a player who has a fantastic mentality. He went through a difficult period when he came back from his ankle injury, but I never questioned his attitude. He has great spirit."

Victory against the Potters would keep Arsenal's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive as they look to reel in either Liverpool or Manchester City.

Wenger saw his side win at St Mary's for the first time since their 'Invincibles' title-winning season of 2003/04 and wants them to continue that run at Stoke.

"We have to show the character again," he said.

"We have to play to win the games. Let's keep the focus on the way we want to play, on our team spirit. The team is together and fights and is ready for it.

"We have to recover now physically and see how everyone recovers for Saturday. I may need to make some changes: does Laurent Koscielny come back or not? How bad is Chamberlain? Bellerin is quite fresh, Koscielny has a small chance, he is not far. He trained on Tuesday."

The Gunners have only scored on one of their previous four trips to Stoke, with home games against relegated Sunderland and out-of-form Everton to come to finish the league campaign before an FA Cup final date with Chelsea.

Source: PA


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