Following Unai Emery’s appointment last summer, one man who particularly seemed to take a shine to the new manager’s methods was fellow Spaniard Hector Bellerin.
The marauding right-back appeared to kick on again after a couple of seasons of relative stagnation and had become one of Arsenal’s most potent attacking weapons down the right-hand side.
However, after undergoing surgery on his left knee following a Premier League clash against Chelsea, Bellerin has been out of action for the past six months.
Now, an update from the Evening Standard claims the 24-year-old will miss the start of next season as he continues his recovery and whilst no exact return date has been specified, he is likely to be out for several weeks of the new campaign.
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The news saw Arsenal fans take to Twitter to reveal their disappointment at Bellerin’s slow progress and bemoaned the fact their first-choice right-back will be missing once again.
Indeed, in the Spaniard’s absence last season, Emery opted for versatile midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles as his replacement and many Gunners supporters felt uneasy by having to rely on the 21-year-old playing out of position again.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested the north London side could target a move for PSG’s full-back Thomas Meunier and fans on social media seemed to accept Bellerin’s longer absence could be a major factor in their pursuit of the Belgian.
Check out some of the reaction of Arsenal fans below:
— ili (@zakry77) June 18, 2019
Safe bet that we’ll get an RB come new season
— Gunnarsson (@premsikka19) June 18, 2019
No wonder we need meunier
— Pöllux (@teamio77) June 18, 2019
We really need a new RB. I can’t watch another season of AMN filling in for Bellerin. Who cares if it gives Hector competition, that will only make him better. AWB, Ricardo Pereira, or Max Aarons are my picks #Arsenal https://t.co/IIUjjEcWIy
— NJ Gooner (@SKafc3) June 18, 2019
That meams we stuck with AMN them
— David Lawrence (@Lawrencebyers18) June 18, 2019
It’s disappointing to hear that Bellerín won’t make it back in time for pre-season, but what’s most important is that we don’t rush him back. A key figure both on and off the pitch, who suits Emery’s system perfectly. We’re all with you, Héctor. Now more than ever. Get well soon!
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) June 18, 2019
There’s no point rushing Bellerín. But I really hope this doesn’t make us go back in for Meunier, that would not be ideal.
— Juniuer (@juniuer) June 18, 2019
would rather him miss the first few weeks than risk him and lose him long term again
— JRFIZZY (@JRFIZZY) June 18, 2019
Can’t wait to be going into the season with our options at right-back being a midfielder and a Championship standard player
— Harry ???? (@Harry_Currall) June 18, 2019