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Bellerin grateful to early Arteta advice as he looks to assume role model mantle

6 months ago
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Mikel Arteta played alongside Hector Bellerin at Arsenal and the right-back wants to be a role model like the former midfielder was for him.

Hector Bellerin is grateful to Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta for being a source of advice when they were Gunners team-mates, with the right-back now embracing the role model mantle himself.

Despite only being 25, Bellerin is already one of the most experienced players in the Arsenal squad and among their longest serving.

The Spaniard arrived at Arsenal in 2011 from Barcelona and has been around the senior squad since 2013, his growing influence and responsibility reflected by being made vice-captain in October last year.

Bellerin is renowned for his passion for fashion and has never appeared shy about expressing that side of himself, despite playing in an age when footballers are often heavily criticised for their social media activity or supposedly flaunting a lavish lifestyle.

But Bellerin feels young players should be allowed to be who they are, and hopes to impress that and other nuggets of advice on the next generation at Arsenal, just as Arteta did for him.

"I think it's really important to support young players to be who they are, it can be hard coming into a dressing room when you have senior players questioning why you are doing something or wearing something, but it's so important that the next generation are true to themselves," he told Football London. "If I can help them do that then I am very happy to do so.

"I was lucky that I had my family around me, my best friend, he's someone I had known since the start, he was actually the one that told me to start looking at investments and stuff.

"From the football side, Mikel Arteta when he was at Arsenal as a player would give me financial advice and even life advice.

"Even then he was showing the leadership qualities back then that makes him a manager.

"But I feel so, so lucky that everyone around me knew when to stop me doing certain things and were able to have hard conversations with me.

"If you don't have people that can be honest with you, then you won't ever grow as a person. I was very lucky with the people I had around me and it means the world to me to have young players looking up to me in the same way."

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