Sunday, December 4, 2022

Wenger bigs up Bielik as youngster impresses

Arsene Wenger says Krystian Bielik has everything to make it as a top-class centre-half, but admitted the Polish youngster needs experience.

He arrived at Arsenal as midfielder, having made his debut for Legia Warsaw as a 16 year old, but the Frenchman has retrained him as a defender, seeing his ability on the ball as a crucial ingredient.

The Gunners currently have three young players vying for a place in the side in that position. Bielik will compete with new signing Rob Holding and Calum Chambers, and Wenger has hinted that he might play the 18 year old (likely in the Capital One Cup), and then loan him out, to help him develop.

“Bielek has all the qualities and ingredients to be a top level centre-back,” said Wenger.

“The one thing he is missing is the experience in this position because he came to us as a central midfielder, but I converted him into a centre-back because I felt he can play the type of football we want to play as a centre-back.

“This is a position for experienced players because you pay for every mistake with a goal in this position, in the Premier League.

“What I have try to do with him this season is to work on his positional play and improve him, and give him some games. If in December, he is not ready, we will try and get him to play somewhere.”

As for competition at centre-half, Wenger said he’ll assess his options.

“We have three young players who compete for the position; Holding, who has been very impressive, Bielik and Chambers. I will have to make a decision on who is the closest to that position.”

At the moment, until a replacement for the injured Per Mertesacker is found, chances are all three will stay, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some loan action closer to the end of the transfer window.

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Have to say I prefer him as a midfielder, I think he makes a great CDM, would rather see someone who’s known the CB trade much longer take that role


By the time he reaches Chambers and Holding’s age he will have been a CB for as long as they have. These guys are still very much toddlers when you look at the average career of a CB.


Anyone that thumbs this down clearly hasn’t kept an eye on the kid at academy level. He almost always looks so assured in midfield it’s unreal. In fact I’m sure if he were kept there, he would’ve featured in the first team by now at s young age. However his time as a CB is riddled with mistakes. He makes loads as a CB. Granted he’s learning, but you could say he’s probability to make it was twice as likely as a DM than as a CB, particularly learning from Xhaka. Now far be it from me to ever question… Read more »


Stillmatic. You said’re in no place to question Wenger or all the coaches around Bielik.


He played like a handful of games in cm when he first arrived and was quickly moved to CB as he was quite overwhelmed with the pace of the game in england, not sure what reserves you been watching mate, he was struggling for quite sometime and even at CB too, came good last half of last season and kept on, all from CB.

Rozza the samourai

Wenger is making him CB because he has Xhaka, Coquelin and Elneny who are not old. Hope this is suitable for Bielik in a long run. A change of position can be the start of a dazzling career or kill your career altogether. If Bielik succeeds, Wenger will have to push Chambers to right back or sell him. Chambers is the one in most delicate situation.

An Ox-sized Coq

Or maybe…he’s playing him as a CB because he was lacking positional discipline in the midfield, or something like that. Never be surprised by Wenger playing someone in a different position to improve a specific trait.

Mein Bergkampf

Say what we want about Wenger, he does have an uncanny ability to see what positions players are most suited to. That’s why Theo rarely gets the nod as a number 9.


… That’s why Per rarely gets the nod as number 9.

dr Strange

Tgstel on the wing?


Does anyone else remember that period at the start of 09/10 where tgstel looked really good on the wing? Literally checking at this point to see whether I dreamed that.

Granit(e) hard!

Coquelin reported recently by some media as now playing CB in training?….i admit, that i didn’t see coming!…i know he has all the defensive skill set to play that position, but correct me if i am wrong, don’t you in addition need some physical presence to play CB?
…..Well, i am just an ordinary fan and must concede le Prof knows best!


He probably played CB in training as they only have 3 CB’s for the trip in the US? (correct me if wrong)

Andy Mack

Little Mascherano seems to be doing OK as a CB at Barca.

Bob Davis

I’m glad to see him progressing well. Hope we get to see him in the coming season. I don’t think we’ve had a centre back from the youth team since Senderos or Upson. It didn’t end too well for those two! Chambers will probably go on loan too.


Although personally I felt Havard Nortdveit should’ve been given at least a chance as he had all the requirements to make it, whilst we let him go to focus on Djourou (and now Havard played at a better team in Germany and is now at West Ham as a DM).

Andy Mack

When Djorou as good, he was very good (he showed against barca) but initially his concentration let him down and then the crowd got on his back.
However I do agree that we should have kept Nortdveit and it’s concerning how Bieliks playing on tour will effect Pleguezuelos development


Chambers needs a loan and games this season. He can’t develop if he doesn’t play and has barely featured during the last 2 seasons. Maybe a bottom half PL team would be a good place to develop. Holding has a full season behind him (though in the championship) so he should be able to provide cover and maybe start in the cup games. Bielik seems to be a long term alternative as mentioned here.


Plus Holding could be an absolute steal at 2,5 million, looked like a classic, well-educated CB in his first match. Kept it simple and showed composed passing.


Arsene Wenger has a vision and this is great. I am sure Bielik will seize his chance

Tony g

Atleast we’re looking well stocked for the future in the cb position. I do worry about the start of this season though.

Cliff Bastin

Cashley Cole – Winger to left back
Lauren – Central Midfielder to right back
Toure – Central Midfielder to centre back
Ljungberg – No 10 to right winger
Henry – Winger to legend

Biff Clastin

Igors Stepanovs – unknown to useless

Rozza the samourai

Walcott CF to Right wing, Éboué right back to right wing.


The thing I don’t get is playing seeing Liverpool will cause Arsenal defence problem because of their inexperience. I’m pretty sure Liverpool will be worried about Arsenal as well and I can’t see them playing the highlife. There defence aren’t exactly great beside arsenals midfield is much stronger than there’s.

The Jeff Father

I haven’t seen enough games on Bielik as a midfielder. At the moment, there is too many competitions in the defensive midfield area where u have three well established players in conquelin, xhaka, and elneny. If I were him I would rather work hard on the new position n try to get in the first team as soon as possible. Who knows he might make his name with new position? never say never.


Bielik definitely should got out on loan at some point this year and would be good for Chambers too which might happen now that we have Holding (who looks more ready as a PL level center back than Chambers does from the one match I’ve seen him in). Chambers will not progress much only playing sparingly again this season.


I expect Chambers to be given a chance ahead of the other two. I think AW rates him very highly and he has PL experience already. This could be a big season for his career at Arsenal.


I rather liked Song at CB, thought it was his best position. Hopefully Bielik will develop well and we don.t need to spunk 30 odd million on someone Mustafi

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