Arsenal F.C. manager Arsene Wenger is confident Hector Bellerin will maintain last season’s form in 2015/16 amid reports the player will be offered a bumper deal at the Emirates Stadium.
Bellerin, a product of Barcelona’s infamous La Masia youth system, unexpectedly broke into the Gunners’ starting XI last season.
The Spain youth international, 20, went on to bag two goals and one assist in 28 appearances in all competitions, helping Arsenal win the FA Cup and achieve a third-place in the English Premier League.
“He is one of the players who has emerged last year and has had a very good season,” Wenger said.
“Bellerin and (Francis) Coquelin are the two players who were not necessarily planned last season to come out, they have to confirm (themselves) this season, and that is always very difficult to produce the same performance in the second season, so that is their challenge.
“But Hector is a very mature, very focused player, and I am confident he will have a good season again.”
Meanwhile, in other news, Arsenal forward Yaya Sanogo has joined Dutch Eredivisie giants Ajax on a season-long loan deal.
Sanogo, who spent part of last season on loan at Crystal Palace, has failed to find the back of the net in 21 Premier League matches over the past two seasons.
Arsenal are backed by the bookmakers at 9/2 to win the Premier League title in 2015/16.
Kaboul signs for Sunderland
Sunderland A.F.C. have completed the signing of defender Younes Kaboul from Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year deal.
The deal, reportedly worth £3 million, makes Kaboul the Black Cats’ fourth summer recruit following the arrivals of Adam Matthews (Celtic), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kyiv) and Sebastian Coates (Liverpool).
After starting Spurs’ first 11 Premier League fixtures, Kaboul fell out-of-favour with manager Mauricio Pochettino and did not feature in the league after the home loss to Stoke City on November 9, 2014.
“I’m delighted to be a Sunderland player and it’s an honour to join this club,” Kaboul said.
“I would like to thank Lee Congerton and the head coach for making this move possible and I can’t wait to start playing for the Sunderland supporters.”
Manager Dick Advocaat added: “He is a very experienced player, which is what we need. He has shown that in his time at Spurs and he will be a very good addition to our squad.”
Sunderland are priced at 13/2 to achieve a top-10 finish in the Premier League in 2015/16.