Bielik targets return to higher tier football

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Krystian Bielik says he has the quality to play at a higher level than League One but he must prove himself with Charlton before thinking further ahead.

The Polish centre-back, 20, was tipped for the Arsenal first team when he was signed from Legia Warsaw by Arsene Wenger in January 2015. He went on to make his senior debut in the League Cup later that year but has since had his progress hampered by fitness problems.

An eye-catching loan spell with Birmingham City two seasons ago saw the youngster regain some confidence only for a shoulder problem to scupper a quick return to the Championship. He eventually settled for a spell at League One Walsall in January before returning to the same level with the Addicks this summer.

“I’m still learning,” Bielik told the News Shopper. “I’m getting experience on the pitch in first-team football because I don’t have many games in my bag.

“I played in the Championship two seasons ago in Birmingham and that was a great experience for me, I felt the Championship is a league I can play in.

“Now I’m at Charlton, in League One, and I think I’m doing well and I’m looking forward to playing in a higher league.

“I’ve got this quality to play higher but I don’t really want to speak about the future right now, I’m focused on Charlton Athletic and our target is now to win games and go through to the next level – which is the Championship. We will do everything and what we can to do that.”

Bielik also touched on the mental struggle that comes with a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

“A young player just has so many things in his head when he’s not playing and his friends are playing. I was like, ‘how am I going to play?’, I forgot how to play football.

“But then I came back after the injuries, played my first and second games, and I just came back to a good level.”

So far, Bielik has started five games in defence for Lee Bowyer’s Charlton and they’ve only conceded twice in those games. As you’ll remember, the south London outfit have done us a number of favours over the years, rehabilitating the likes of Alex Song, Francis Coquelin and even Yaya Sanogo. Here’s hoping they can work the same magic with Krystian.

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Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Biggest issue outside of injuries is that he was a DM in a time when DMs weren’t fashionable at Arsenal (just look at what a proper ball-playing DM like a Torreira is changing the first team). Alas he was deployed as a CB, the previous regime’s answer to ball-playing DMs (where almost all who have gone through that transition end up in career wilderness).

Hopefully he can return and overcome his injuries now DMs are back in fashion. Has a lot to overcome though.

Arse-Head
Arse-Head

DM’s never really want out of fashion, Wenger just never bothered buying one after Gilberto for some strange reason

Lucas Sam
Lucas Sam

Wenger wanted ball playing centerbacks. I think the logic being that technique and comfortability on the ball is harder to learn than defending and positioning. Thus why we have seen lots of conversion attemps, bielik and sheaf on top of my head. Im not saying it was the right or wrong thing to do, just saying what might have been wenger’s logic. Wenger also had a knack of changing player’s positions, some for the best and some for the worst. It can’t always work…

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

The logic is clearer; He said he didn’t like the concept of a “Defensive Midfielder” (at least he grew into that, as he wasn’t like that before), a Defender who’s primary role was to defend. He always preferred CMs.

His process was the same;
Big, Athletic, strong, ball-playing DM = Get converted to CB (Djourou, Song v1.0, Bielik, Shaef, Hayden, etc.)

Shortish, high-energy mobile DM = Get converted to Box to Box (Coqueling 2nd Season, Flamini post-his successful season, Song v2.0, etc.)

Gudang Pelor
Gudang Pelor

To think that wenger’s arsenal successful eras are with great DMs such as petit and gilberto, makes it even more baffling.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

That’s why I implied “At Arsenal”. I was just being careful not to accuse Wenger of anything, as he’s still a touchy subject for some.

Pedant
Pedant

Always had high hopes for him, looks like he had a good chance, an excellent passer. And 5 games, 2 goals conceded sounds like he is progressing.

Chrispy
Chrispy

I’ve always liked him and i’m sure come on massively under the tutelage of a football visionary like Lee Bowyer.

James
James

No reason why he still can’t make the grade. Still a couple of years younger than the likes of Mavrapanos and Holding. Has a lot of quality.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Actually not, Mavropanos is 20 too.

Devlin
Devlin

He is a special talent who just didn’t get the opportunity to show what he is capable of. Injuries have not helped but he deserves a chance to prove himself in the side. He has it all to play out from the back and has the physical attributes to dominate strikers if he puts on some muscle.

I hope we at least let him prove that he can play for Arsenal.

santori
santori

Defo another option for Cback position.

I think all options are on the table.

1) Mavropanos is not a proven commodity.
2) Sokratis is an aging player so we have to consider him short term.
3) Koscielny will leave end of the season.
4) Mustafi is an improving player even if others would deem to suggest otherwise. BUT if he does not improve further, we will need to bring someone-else in.

5) Holding has been much improved and has grabbed his opportunity.
6) Chambers may/may not stay. I don’t think he has had much of a look in on loan either at Fulham although that may change.

7) Pleggy got a run out against more minor opposition and did not do too badly although his height just shy of 6′ would suggest a more potential role maybe as a Rback if we should not find addition from market. In that AMN is also potential for this position IMO.
8) Bielik. He’s still only 20yrs. Defo has opportunity to impress with his 6’2 frame which will help defensively particularly when much of our issues have been from set pieces and crosses coming in directly over the top. How he applies himself on loan as he mentions with such maturity will be key.

santori
santori

I don’t see him as a DM for us beyond strictly cover.

I think in midfield these days, we need a complete player and in our case at the moment, we are lacking someone with quick feet who can carry the ball from defense into attack the way Diaby and Viera did.

allezkev
allezkev

I might be mistaken, and if so please put me straight,but I’m sure that Lee Bowyer has been using Bielik as a defensive midfielder. I certainly hope so…

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

And they sold us Carl Jenkinson!!

afan
afan

maybe the championship, or lower half of the prem