Though one never likes to see players get injured, a knock picked up by Dani Carvajal in the Champions League final could prove beneficial for Arsenal defender Héctor Bellerín.
A muscle injury picked up by the Real Madrid right back last weekend has ruled him out of next month’s European Championships – opening the door for 21 year old Bellerín to replace him.
Bellerín has enjoyed a fantastic rise to prominence over the past 18 moths – becoming Arsenal’s first choice right back and going on to be named in the PFA Premier League team of the year for the season just gone – and will undoubtedly have been disappointed with his omission from Vicente del Bosque’s provisional 25-man squad for the tournament.
However, the absence of a number of senior players due to Champions League commitments meant that Bellerín – along with ten other members of the under-21 squad – were called up by Del Bosque for a training camp ahead of Spain’s friendly with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The week became even better for the young full back when he was named in the starting lineup – making his senior international debut in the process – as La Roja went on to win that fixture 3-1.
As per a report in the Mirror today, much will depend on how Del Bosque sees César Azpilicueta’s role in the team.
The Chelsea defender started out as a right back but has been converted to a new position on the left during his time in England. Therefore, if he is brought solely as backup to current starting left back Jordi Alba then it would leave Juanfran short of cover on the right, which would in turn almost guarantee Bellerín would replace Carvajal in a straight swap.
The fact that Bellerín remained with the squad (at Del Bosque’s request) while they assessed the damage to Carvajal also speaks volumes.
The 23 man squad will by confirmed by Del Bosque on Tuesday, and at this stage it would be more of a surprise if Bellerín was not included on that panel.