Why Hector Bellerin can fulfil his sky-high potential under Unai Emery
The Spaniard was being linked to big clubs like Manchester United and Juventus but he recently signed a new six-and-a-half-year deal to stay put at London for the foreseeable future.
He has been given the No.2 shirt, a number which is usually given to the first-choice right-back. The 23-year-old could fulfil his lofty potential under new manager Unai Emery.
Here’s why the £100,000-a-week player will thrive under the new manager.
Emery’s system will suit the Spaniard
Unai Emery has a structured way of playing football which is aesthetically pleasing and quite secured in terms of tactics. His full-backs often bomb forward in possession with the centre-backs splitting and a defensive midfielder positioning himself in between, as shown in the image below.
As clearly depicted above, the full-backs’ movements forward are secured by wide centre-backs and a drop-in defensive midfielder. Doing so allows the wingers to cut inside and stay close to the striker, adding an extra headache to the opposition defenders.
This is a case of a dummy back-three system in possession, with wing-backs moving forward and attacking trio playing close to each other.
The likes of Bellerin, who is more of an attack-oriented full-back, should love the freedom to move forward and influence attacks. Moreover, the wingers moving inside will narrow the defensive line, providing space for full-backs to go and supply dangerous crosses when required.
This is just an orthodox system of playing attacking football, but the way Emery structures his formation in possession is unique and commendable. It will aid Bellerin to showcase his qualities as a forward-thinking right-back and act as an integral part of the manager’s system in the upcoming seasons.
In football, it is quite normal for a player to enjoy playing under certain managers due to the systems they deploy.
Arsene Wenger also provided Bellerin with the license to move forward, but the Frenchman couldn’t secure his formation, particularly in situations where the Spaniard was caught higher up the pitch. Bellerin’s impact in the attacking areas of the pitch reduced to a great extent because of that.
Meanwhile, Emery mirrors Wenger in terms of playing an attractive brand of football. However, the Spaniard is quite keen on preventing his team from getting caught in counter-attacks easily. This will suit the way Bellerin plays and hence, he can show his true potential in the years to come by.