How coaches remember Bellerin from his time at Barça's La Masia
The full-back was part of the 1995 generation which was filled with talented young players
Hector Bellerin (19-03-1995, Barcelona) caught Arsene Wenger's attention when he was part of Barça's history-making Cadete side, the generation of 95. It was a side filled with players tipped to progress to the first team -- even if that's not been the case yet.
As well as Arsenal right-back Bellerin, that Barça side also featured Sergi Samper (Barcelona/loaned to Granada), Jon Toral (Arsenal/loaned to Granada), Keita Balde (Lazio) and Alejandro Grimaldo (Benfica).
Former Barça B coach Eusebio lablled the group of players "the future of the first team. We're seeing the best generation at Barça since the one of Pique, Cesc and Messi (1987)."
They were already dominating competitions and Bellerin was already an exciting full-back who Arsenal were following. "I left Barcelona because Wenger made me feel genuinely loved," he's since said.
Despite being a really quick, important player in the team, his impact was less than some of his team-mates'. "He was a good full-back, really quick, but there were others in the same position at the club who were seen to be at a similar level," people at the club remember.
"On an individual level there was a lot of raw talent [in that team] and the club were already thinking two or three would make the first team. It was similar to the other great generation, from 1991 with Thiago, Bartra, Assulin, Tello..."
STARTED AS A WINGER
Bellerin had played as a right winger initially, with people who work at La Masia remembering Garcia Pimienta being the first coach to use him as a right-back, in one of the biggest games of the season against Espanyol.
It's a familiar tale at Barcelona, with many players beginning further forward before ending up as full-backs. Looking no further than the first team it's the case with Jordi Alba, Aleix Vidal and even Sergi Roberto, who was an attacking midfielder in the club's youth teams.
Now Barça are dreaming of bringing Bellerin back after witnessing his the breakneck speed of his progress in recent years