After having previously endured much frustration with injuries, Krystian Bielik has enjoyed a productive first half of the campaign.
The Polish youngster may have been converted into a centre-back by Arsenal but he has returned to playing in his previous defensive midfield position while on loan at Charlton Athletic in League One this season and has produced some encouraging performances.
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has given Bielik much useful advice with regards to improvements that he can make in his game and the youngster, who turns 21 next week, has reaped the benefits.
Despite always being regarded as one of Arsenal’s most talented youngsters since he joined the club, Bielik has found first-team opportunities difficult to come by.
Indeed, he has made just two competitive appearances for the Gunners at first-team level and has yet to feature in the Premier League.
Will that change? It remains to be seen. Bielik has certainly done enough in the first half of the season to suggest that he deserves opportunities at Arsenal in the future, and his versatility would be a useful asset for the squad.
The step up from League One to the Premier League is of course a significant one, but Bielik is calm under pressure and excellent in possession, while he is highly effective at breaking up play.
Despite Arsenal’s need for defensive reinforcements, it seems unlikely that Bielik will be recalled from his loan spell in January and he is instead expected to see out the remainder of the campaign with Charlton, where he will look to continue playing regularly and gain further valuable experience.
Bielik’s current Arsenal contract runs until the summer of 2020, so it seems likely that at the end of this season a decision will be made regarding whether to integrate him into the first-team squad or let him continue his career elsewhere.
Given the impact that he has made at Charlton so far, Bielik certainly seems worthy of being given a chance at Arsenal.