Hector Bellerin has claimed that Arsenal can still win the Premier League title this season – and has used Chelsea as an example of how the Gunners can do so.
The Arsenal defender spoke exclusively to Sky Sports ahead of his side’s mammoth showdown with Antonio Conte’s Blues on Sunday, and insisted that there was no reason why Arsene Wenger’s men couldn’t replicate their London rivals’ success from 2016/17.
Chelsea endured a spluttering start to the last campaign before a run of 13 successive wins propelled them to the top of England’s top tier – a position they didn’t relinquish as they secured a second league trophy in three seasons.
And Bellerin has backed his fellow team mates to do likewise and stun the footballing world as a result.
He said: “The season before was not a good one for them [Chelsea]. There was a lot of criticism for them and their new manager. Nobody knew what was going to happen.
“Then, after a poor start, they won 13 games in a row which is something to admire. It’s not about how you start but how consistent you are and how you finish it.
consistent on losing or consistent on conceding goals?
— B for Apple (@iambforapple) September 12, 2017
“That’s why Chelsea won the league. There are so many games to play. It’s only been four games now and six points can be very valuable. Whoever is ruling us out already doesn’t know about football.”
Arsenal take part in their first Europa League adventure on Thursday against Bundesliga side FC Koln after they failed to qualify for the Champions League last term.
Many fans have pointed out that the last two Premier League champions – Chelsea and Leicester – did not have the distraction of European football as they waltzed to their domestic trophy triumphs.
Bellerin, though, explained why he felt that Arsenal had the strength in depth to cope on all silverware fronts in yet another gruelling season.
He added: “Teams like Leicester and Chelsea, they didn’t have any midweek games [when they won the Premier League] so obviously players will get more rest and just play at the weekend.
“For us we are lucky to have good squad depth and I think we have enough players to face both competitions with the right team and still have the right amount of quality players on the pitch.
“As a top club you are expected to play two-three times a week so we have to be able to cope with that.”