Per Mertesacker thanks Hector Bellerin for ‘stepping up’ at Arsenal

"He's given us a lot of energy this season," Mertesacker told Arsenal's official website. "He's stepped up because we've had a lot of injuries but he gave us such a great energy and he's capable of producing great performances. "To put in such a good performance in front of our fans makes me delighted. I'm proud of our performance because we we kept going. It was a hard-fought win in the end and we deserved it with the way we played."

Per Mertesacker has praised Hector Bellerin’s impact at Arsenal this season following the Spaniard’s run in the Gunners’ first team.

The 20-year-old Spaniard scored Arsenal’s opener with a well-taken left-footed shot as the Gunners secured a thumping 4-1 win over Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Bellerin, who spent most of last season on loan to Watford, has made 10 Premier League starts for Wenger’s side this season following two serious injuries to first-choice right-back Mathieu Debuchy.

And Gunners captain Mertesacker has been thrilled by the way Bellerin has stepped up his performances for the north London side this season.

Speaking to Arsenal’s website after Saturday’s win, Mertesacker said: “He’s given us a lot of energy this season. He’s stepped up because we’ve had a lot of injuries but he gave us such a great energy and he’s capable of producing great performances like today.

“To put in such a good performance in front of our fans makes me delighted. I’m proud of our performance because we we kept going.

“It was a hard-fought win in the end and we deserved it with the way we played.”

Saturday’s win lifted Arsenal up to second in the Premier League table and seven points behind leaders Chelsea after the Blues’ victory over Stoke City later on Saturday.

Arsenal are next in action when they travel to Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

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