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Hector Bellerin has revealed how his injury problems in 2019 affected his mental health and led him to start drinking.
From the end of 2018 to the end of 2019, Bellerin missed a total of 40 games for Arsenal with injuries, with his ruptured cruciate ligament keeping him out for nine months.
It was the first time in the full backs career that he missed any significant amount of time out of the game due to injury, and he didn't take it well.
Speaking on the Timbsy YouTube channel, the 26-year-old has revealed that he struggled to cope with time away from the pitch and began going out drinking in London.
"It was the first time that I had got injured like that, and I had friends and teammates that had gone through it before," the full back explained, "I had my family next to me, but I didn't know exactly what was going to happen to me.
"I talk about an experience when I came back and I wasn't really training and I started going out a lot.
"I started drinking and all this stuff and you know for a footballer that's not what you're supposed to say but it's the truth.
"We have our issues, we have our mental health problems. And when football, which is basically your identity gets taken out of you, we find it difficult.
"Obviously London is a town that offers a lot of distractions and it's really easy when you don't feel you have a responsibility - obviously I knew I had to recover, but I didn't have to train or play - my mind kind of just went elsewhere."
The defender, who has been linked with a move away from North London after 10 years at the club, also praised those at the club for helping him through his hard times.
"I was lucky enough to have players and coaches who knew what I was doing, and they said 'look Hector, that's not the right way to do it', and I felt so lucky about that."
Bellerin isn't embarrassed or ashamed at how he dealt with the injury, although he wouldn't do it again, and you imagine that his experience is similar to many players who get injured.
"I'm not ashamed of it, I feel like it's what happened to me and it's just the way I was feeling and for me that was the best way of coping with my feelings, which is obviously not the best anyway, you don't help anything, you just delay it.
"But that's how I felt like doing then, and I thought I could get away with it and I learned so much from it. Now the last thing I do when I have an injury is drink because I know how bad that is. Sometimes you just don't care or it's difficult."
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