Arsene Wenger praises Hector Bellerin after two assists
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 09/01/16 7:25pm
Arsene Wenger praised Hector Bellerin after the full-back set up the final two goals in the 3-1 FA Cup third round win over Sunderland.
Jeremain Lens had given the visitors a shock lead before Joel Campbell hit back midway through the first half.
Arsenal needed someone to step into assist king Mesut Ozil's boots after Wenger opted to rest the German international - and that man was Bellerin.
Bellerin created Aaron Ramsey's goal on 72 minutes with a wonderful burst of speed down the right flank and the Spanish full-back was at it again minutes later as he produced a near carbon-copy run and cross that this time was forced home from close range by Oliver Giroud.
Wenger purred about the defender's contribution and admits he will only get better with age.
Wenger said: "He came on stronger and stronger. In the last 20 minutes every time he went forward he created a chance. Look at the numbers, offensive and defensive. Of course [he is among the best]. The fact he is only 20 years old - there is more to come from him."
The Gunners sit top of the Premier League and are back in action with a tricky trip to Liverpool on Wednesday but, with a number of players back from injury and some soon to return - plus the impending signing of midfielder Mohamed Elneny - Wenger feels his squad are ready to deal with a tough run.
In the last 20 minutes every time he went forward he created a chance. Look at the numbers, offensive and defensive.
Wenger on Bellerin
"There is a little bit," he said when asked about fixture congestion.
"But I believe that the next step is to get (Tomas) Rosicky back, (Danny) Welbeck back, (Alexis) Sanchez back, (Jack) Wilshere back and maybe we will get one player in.
"Overall, I think we have no new injuries so I'm not worried. If we had the same number of injuries we would be a bit short."