Having spoken about Hector Bellerin’s recent form, Arsene Wenger has urged the full back not to play for Spain’s U21 side at the European Championships this summer.
The full-back is almost certain to be called up, but the Arsenal manager would prefer him to rest after what has been a difficult campaign for him.
He suffered an ankle injury in November, missing a month of action, and Wenger admitted Bellerin played through the pain at times.
Now, with the prospect of a summer full of football instead of time off, and perhaps a chance to recuperate properly, Wenger has voiced his concern.
“It is not ideal after a long season,” he said.
“He should have a rest and prepare for next season. The Spanish players love to play for their country, and I think he will go as he loves to play for Spain.”
One might ask if Bellerin is suffering a loss of form that is in some way tied to his injury, why we haven’t used anyone else to give him a break.
Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson have been restricted to U23 outings, and clearly the Bellerin we’re watching at the moment is a long way from the one who so excited fans last season.
Maybe the club has to set the example here.