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Hector Bellerin Reportedly Among Arsenal 'Untouchables' Amid Exit Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 03: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal FC reacts during the UEFA Europa League 2017-18 semi-finals (2nd leg) match between Atletico de Madrid and Arsenal FC at Wanda Metropolitano on May 03 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has reportedly been informed by Unai Emery that he won't be going anywhere this summer.Β 

According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, the new manager believes Bellerin is one of five "untouchable" players in his current squad that he rates highly.

As noted by Cross, Bellerin has been linked with an exit as of late, with rumours of interest from Manchester United, Juventus and Barcelona. However, in the report it's said Emery has given Bellerin a "major vote of confidence" by confirming he's a "key player in his plans."

"While the five have not been revealed publicly, France striker Alexandre Lacazette is another that Emery rates highly, and they have also tied Granit Xhaka down to a new contract," continued Cross. "It would seem obvious they would also not want to lose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who were both signed in January."

Paris Saint-Germain's Spanish headcoach Unai Emery reacts during the French L1 football match between Caen (SMC) and Paris (PSG) on May 19, 2018, at the Michel d'Ornano stadium, in Caen, northwestern France. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)        (Phot
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/Getty Images

It means that despite the capture of Stephan Lichtsteiner on a one-year contract, Bellerin is poised to still be the main man at right-back for the Gunners next season.

Bellerin's progression at Arsenal has been impressive, as he's developed into one of the best right-backs in the Premier League. As noted by James Benge of the Evening Standard, the 23-year-old was on the pitch more than any Gunners player last season:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Worth noting no player at Arsenal played more minutes than Bellerin (4,131). Xhaka played 4,120... The next after was Cech on 3,400. That's best part of eight games fewer.

Bellerin has the energy to be able to get through that type of workload.Β The Spain international is one of the quickest players in world football, making him a threat on the overlap when he makes runs from deep. While his final ball can be a little erratic at times, the former Barcelona youth prospect links up well in attack.

As noted by Charles Watts of Football London, the arrival of someone as experienced as Lichtsteiner may be to the benefit of Bellerin:

Charles Watts @charles_watts

Liked what I saw from Lichtsteiner there. Looks a right horrible git to play against. Knows exactly what he's doing in every sense. Professional, well drilled, nasty. Bellerin should learn lots from him during the next 12 months

Of the other names said to be indispensable at Arsenal, Xhaka is a player who often divides opinion, while the trio of remaining stars represent no surprise.

Arsenal fans will be hopeful of seeing more from Lacazette in his second season at the club, while Mkhitaryan showed flashes of class after arriving in January.

Perhaps the most obvious key man at the moment is Aubameyang, though; as we can see, he enjoyed an excellent start to life at the Emirates Stadium after joining from Borussia Dortmund midseason:

101 Great Goals @101greatgoals

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang today notched his 10th Premier League goal after just 13 appearances in the English top-flight. The fastest that an Arsenal player has ever reached double digits. https://t.co/Ij6w2OzlXP

Gunners supporters will note some high-profile omissions from the reported list of "untouchables," including Mesut Ozil. The Germany international will be hopeful of being a key part of Emery's side after agreeing a new long-term contract last season.

Another absentee is last term's Player of the Year Aaron Ramsey. There are doubts over the Welshman's future, though, as he has one year remaining on his contract in north London; according to Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, if he doesn't agree an extension this summer he's likely to be sold.