Arsenal ace Hector Bellerin has revealed the competitive edge provided by Kieran Tierney helped him to recover from a devastating knee injury. The Gunners defender was out for many months after picking up a ruptured cruciate knee ligament injury last season.
And the Spanish full-back says having Tierney alongside him during long, tough and gruelling training sessions helped him push to the absolute limit as he fought to regain his fitness to get back into action and help Mikel Arteta and his side.
Tierney, a £25million summer signing from Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic, was side-lined with a shoulder injury and he teamed up with the former Barcelona youngster as the battled to get back into shape.
And Bellerin says that it helped massively that his relationship with the Scot was really good from the start. He told the club’s official website:
“I felt we kind of knew that a lot of people were expecting us to be a full-back unit, so we always joked about that which gave us a common ground from the start that we could share without even knowing each other.
“Kieran was good from the start and he was also someone who pushed himself so hard from the get-go, from the first few training sessions with the rehab group. He made me push myself even further because he was hitting more speed than me. I was thinking, ‘No, this can’t happen, I need to run quicker than him’, then he would run quicker. If he wasn’t there, my rehab would’ve been very different because that offered me motivation and improvement.”
Bellerin said that every day he was desperate to get back out in the training pitch with the notion that he would aim to run quicker than his friend and team-mate, adding:
“I think it’s great that you can build a relationship with someone purely on those basics — hard work and professionalism.
“I’m not going to lie, there were mornings where we felt so tired and our muscles were aching because we were coming back from not running for six months into very hard work. There were mornings where we couldn’t put two passes together, there were mornings where we were amazing and there are things I look back on now and think, ‘Yo, that was a good time’.”
Meanwhile, Gunners striker Alex Lacazette has taken to Twitter to tell fans he is coping well during the elongated period away from the club and the game he loves brought about by the coronavirus. He tweeted on the social media platform:
“Try to stay positive and healthy during this sad situation we are experiencing in the world right now. Hope you are all keeping well and making the most of #StayAtHome.”