Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin in action for Arsenal last season. [NextGen]

Arsenal have announced that exciting young prospect Hector Bellerin has signed a new long-term contract with the club after impressing in various youth teams last season.

The 18 year old was convinced to swap Catalonia for north London two years ago alongside good friend Jon Toral. Both have featured heavily in the last two seasons and have particularly impressed while representing Arsenal's NextGen side.

Bellerin spent much of his youth career playing as a winger but has dropped into a right-back role at Arsenal and has flourished under the guidance of youth team coach Terry Burton.

His impressive performances for the Under-19 side saw him catch the eye of manager Arsene Wenger who twice called him up to the first team last season as he was named in the squad for the Capital One Cup ties against Reading and Coventry City.

Bellerin has played some 52 games and scored five goals for Arsenal youth sides in his two seasons at the club and is currently competing with Spain in the European Under-19 Football Championship in Lithuania which begins later this month.

The young defender is expected to push the likes of Carl Jenkinson and Bacary Sagna for a starting berth at right back in the very near future and he has already spent some time training with the first team.

"Everyone is so helpful and to an extent that I could never imagine," explained Bellerin earlier this year. "They made me feel like I belonged and particularly the other day when I was playing in a game and Tomas Rosicky was on the wing against me.

"I tried to defend against him in a manner which was not the best way. He came over to me and tried to show me the best way of stopping him play, what I could do to improve and make sure he does not beat me next time.

"He was so willing to help me and pass on his experience that I appreciated so much. That's just one example of how we have a special bond at Arsenal, whether you are a young player or regular first team player, it really feels like a family."

After committing his future to the club, Bellerin will hope that he can further progress next season as Wenger has never been afraid to promote his academy players to the first team if he feels they are ready.