The Spaniard found the going tough after arriving at Emirates Stadium, but believes his experiences in England have helped to improve him as a player
Hector Bellerin admits to wondering what he had got himself into after taking the decision to leave Barcelona for Arsenal.
Among those to feel that opportunities would be easier to come by away from Camp Nou, the Spaniard left La Masia and headed to England in 2011.
He was given a rude awakening at Emirates Stadium, with rigorous training regimes leading Bellerin to question whether he had made the right choice.
The 22-year-old has, however, established himself as a first-team star with the Gunners and acknowledges that his early experiences have helped to make him a better player.
He told Arsenal’s official website on his initial views on training: “We were blowing, we had no breath whatsoever.
“We were thinking ‘What have we got ourselves into? This is not what we came here to do!’. But then in the afternoon we played some football.
“That was what struck us the most though. When we were back at Barcelona everything was with the ball, even every single physical activity, it always involved the ball.
“So it was a bit different to us but by the second season I wasn’t one of the last players in the runs, I was one of the first, so you could see the improvement I had made physically.
“That’s certainly the thing that struck me the most at first.”
After making his senior breakthrough in 2014-15 campaign, Bellerin has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the Gunners.
He is now being heavily linked with a return to his roots at Barcelona, but committed to a new long-term contract with Arsenal in November 2016 and has expressed no desire to move on.