Big season ahead for rapidly-developing Bielik

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There was a feeling of confusion amongst some Arsenal supporters last season as to why Krystian Bielik, for all the fervour that accompanied his arrival from Legia Warsaw in 2015, hadn’t yet been heavily involved with the Gunners’ first-team.

Instead of being thrown in at the deep end, the Polish youth international was allowed to develop in the U21s and, although he made some costly errors at times, Bielik’s overall performance levels were rather impressive for the second string last campaign.

Having joined as a defensive-midfielder, Bielik has since undergone a transformation into a ball-playing centre-back. Now 18, he is approaching the stage of his development where he can be considered a candidate for the first-team, at least as a fourth choice option at the heart of the defence.

With Per Mertesacker out injured and Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel having not yet featured in pre-season, Bielik has been afforded several opportunities to impress manager Arsene Wenger this summer.

There are still some rough edges to Bielik’s game (his stray pass led to a goal being conceded against MLS All-Stars) but for the most part he has performed very well when called upon, demonstrating that he is a fine reader of the game, and, crucially, a natural fit for Arsenal’s style of play given that he is able to play short, snappy passes with regularity.

Wenger discussed the possibility of Bielik breaking through to the first-team this season, but, whilst he may well be involved in some capacity, it seems as if it may be a little too early for him to fully establish himself, with Gabriel now back in training and the comparatively experienced Calum Chambers and Rob Holding also available.

However, Bielik will have benefited greatly from his time with the first-team during pre-season, and he will hope to gain further game time in the final friendlies against Viking and Manchester City.

The suspicion remains that the starlet is better suited to playing as a defensive-midfielder, where he can break up play with well-timed challenges before setting the team on the front foot by making use of his aforementioned impressive distribution.

Wenger, however, appears to see Bielik as a centre-back for the long-term and even if the youngster doesn’t feature prominently for the Arsenal first-team this season he is likely to experience senior football elsewhere on loan, meaning that 2016/17 will be a very significant campaign indeed as far as his development is concerned.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

 

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Getso gunner
Getso gunner

Hope He will along with the team have great season

Third Plebeian
Third Plebeian

He looks a bit like the WW2 double agent, Dusan Popov (Codename ‘Tricycle’), don’t you think? Is it possible he’s still alive, playing for Arsenal while feeding the Germans useless intel?

Bobbyp
Bobbyp

That really made me laugh. Cheers.

ArsenalRising
ArsenalRising

Still alive??? Who is he? Wolverine!?

Pooner
Pooner

Yes, but can he play up front?

Little Mozart
Little Mozart

Bielik has been very impressive during the summer but I don’t think he’ll get any real first team action this season because of Holding, who has really hit the ground running.

brian guinan
brian guinan

I get an encouraging whiff of Lucius vorenus from ‘Rome’ off him

Goonshow
Goonshow

I’l say it again: WATCH THIS KID!!!

Ted E.
Ted E.

Babysitting issues?

Stan
Stan

Bilk can still help out in the U21 and train with the 1st squad, remaining on hold when needed. There is no better time for him elsewhere, wherever this would be