Hector Bellerin believes he made the right decision after choosing to leave Spanish giants Barcelona in order to join Arsenal last summer.

The 17-year-old made the decision to continue his football education in north London, rather than remaining at Barcelona who have a reputation of handing young players an opportunity in the first team.

Bellerin signed his first professional contract with Arsenal and he is pleased with the progress he has made since leaving the famed La Masia academy in Barcelona.

Hector Bellerin
Bellerin has swapped Barcelona for Arsenal [Reuters]

"It has been really, really great," the youngster told Arsenal's official website. "I'm so happy with the decision I made to come here.

"Everyone has been really nice and the football is unbelievable. I have learned things I don't think I would have learnt at Barcelona so I am really enjoying it. I hope to be here for many more years."

Arsenal have also earned a reputation of handing young players opportunities to impress and Bellerin will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas who moved from Barcelona to the Gunners and went on to become the club captain.

The youngster has been converted from a winger to a right-back since moving to Arsenal and he feels he is now a natural defender after working closely with Steve Bould.

"When I was at Barcelona I always used to play on the right wing," added Bellerin. "But last year I learnt a lot from Steve Bould about how to defend and every day I feel more and more comfortable as a right back.

"It gives me a chance to go forward, and I am learning every day about the defensive side - I really enjoy it."

Arsenal's youth team are in action on Wednesday night when they face Marseille in their first game of the new NextGen series at Underhill in Barnet.