Bielik backed for ‘big future’ by Charlton assistant boss

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Charlton’s assistant manager Johnnie Jackson has tipped Krystian Bielik to have an Arsenal future after an impressive loan spell with the League One side.

The Addicks are pushing for promotion to the Championship via the playoffs, taking on Doncaster tomorrow, and the 21 year old has played a significant role in that.

Speaking to Will Magee of iPaperSport (@W_F_Magee), he said he was half expecting for Bielik to be recalled to add some defensive depth to the squad, and suggested he’s got the potential to make the step up to the Arsenal first team.

“He’s been excellent for us, he really has,” he said. “I look at Arsenal’s defensive troubles and to me, I think he could definitely have a future there, though I don’t know what the future holds with regards to how Arsenal see him.

“The way they were struggling, I was a little surprised that they didn’t call him back in January, because I thought he might have been an option for them. I’m glad, obviously, that they didn’t.

“We haven’t used him much at centre-back, which I think he would say is his natural position. He’s played most of his football prior to this season in that position and it’s something, certainly, that he’s capable of.”

“We’ve used him occasionally there but generally he’s played most of his football at holding midfield, which he’s equally capable of. He’s been excellent for us, he really has. He’s got a big future.”

The centre of the Arsenal defence certainly needs some new blood next season. Laurent Koscielny is not getting any young, Shkodran Mustafi is not getting any better, and maybe there’ll be room for a player Arsene Wenger signed when he was 16 years of age.

Bielik has been plagued with injury problems during his time with us, but looks to have taken a step forward during his loan spell this season.

With just one year left on his current deal, a decision needs to be made this summer one way or the other, so let’s see what happens.

Krystian Bielik 2018-19 stats

Appearances: 31
Goals: 3
Assists: 2
Yellow cards: 12
Red cards: 0

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Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

More goals than Ozil 😱

Martin
Martin

A keeper with over 43 goals is exceptional

Martin
Martin

I meant defender of course.

canon fodder
canon fodder

You will find that Ozil has scored six goals this season and that he is also playing in a more competitive league. Why not also pick on Iwobi and Mik; they have scored fewer goals than Ozil this season.

BODMAS
BODMAS

You are comparing Iwobi to Milki and Ozil… Wow Ozil fan

Maul Person
Maul Person

BODMAS, that’s not what canon fodder said. Not at all.

Matt P
Matt P

and how many assists? I rate a player like Ozil on his goal/assist combination. And on that front he’s been far too unproductive, especially relative to his wages. Not good value.

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

A new managers first season, unsettling him by taking him out of the team constantly, playing with a career long back problem… But, yeah, the anti Ozil brigade out in force. Some “gooners” make me sick.

Devlin
Devlin

What about Sanchez?

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

Let’s hope he can push on and provide some cover for our defence and holding midfielders.

Drew
Drew

Could certainly be another option from within. If he can prove his quality then he could save us a chunk of change. With him, Nelson and Smith Rowe we could increase depth in the squad without spending a penny.

iGooner
iGooner

And when they underperform the fans will be quick to turn against them a Emery. We need to spend on at least 2 players on crucial positions (CM, CB) if we wanna have a chance at staying in UCL next season

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

I really hope we go with a young Arsenal team next season, get rid of all the overpaid hype jobs in the squad and go with hungry young players, full of energy.

WengersNoseHair
WengersNoseHair

Give him a 5 year contract, then send him out on loan to the Championship or the Bundesliga.

gunner17
gunner17

Give him a 5 year contract, and PUT HIM IN THE FIRST TEAM SQUAD

thw14
thw14

Can’t be worse than Xhaka.

Martin
Martin

I can think of many players a lot worse than Xhaka. In fact I can’t think of a better deep lying midfielder. Fantastic passing range and has formed a great partnership with Torreira.

Santori
Santori

Torreira guilty not tracking Guedes for the first Valencia goal. Just saying.

Too many people have it in for certain players and amplify their faults whilst conveniently ignoring other more’ popular’ players.

Nothing based on any sense of logic whatsoever.

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

Sure Xhaka has many attributes but you need a footballing brain and he ain’t got one.

Deep

(Co)captaining one of the big clubs of Europe as well as a good European national team at the age of 25, and all that without a footballing brain!! Kudos to Xhaka for fooling so many people!!

Santori
Santori

Yes he can.

Santori
Santori

superb deliveries from corners from Xhaka.

Not his fault no one in the box could not make it it count. Watch last two matches again.

Don’t be lazy

Santori
Santori

Second Auba goal on the night courtesy of excellent cross field pass to AMN by Granit just saying…

Rich
Rich

We need to find stability at the back and in the centre of the park.

The reason I think we’ve struggled with young players at times, is because they’ve been asked to play in teams that don’t have any structure, and are just chaotic….

If you look at the players Ashley Cole played with coming through at Arsenal, and the team he went into at Chelsea, it’s the ideal structure for young players to go on and thrive.

Looking at this current Arsenal squad, apart from our two strikers, Bellerin, Holding, and Guendouzi, I’d be happy for us to sell the entirety of the rest of our squad, I just don’t see a core of players to build around.

And even with Guendouzi, I think he needs to be playing alongside experience, and in a structured team to have the best chance of developing and reaching his huge potential.

Ace Boogie
Ace Boogie

A lot of down votes on this? Really good point imo it’s great having players with potential but the less experience and quality they’re exposed to certainly doesn’t aid in there development

Tasmanian Jesus
Tasmanian Jesus

He mentioned Cole….instant dislike.

Jack4343
Jack4343

It’s because he didn’t list Ozil as one of the keeps. Guaranteed down votes.

Onenil
Onenil

Some good points, but when he starts talking about selling the entire squad barring 5 players?! You can’t do that. You create the chaos he was worrying about.

Matty Cakes
Matty Cakes

Huge potential.
Hopefully he can help Charlton up into the Championship then come join us for our Champions League campaign next season

Vonnie
Vonnie

I like Bielik and hope he is given a chance. I know the Charlton fans have appreciated having him. Tall youngsters take longer to grow into their bodies, and I don’t think the management of him at the academy was the best. Now we have better people in charge, and far better fitness guys, I don’t think he would be injured so often and he’s a big strong youngster and a good baller. One to watch on the pre-season tour I would hope. We have Bielik, Martinez, Willock and others all knocking at the door, there are some really good youngsters coming through.

johar
johar

Good point about management. Having Per around for advice will be a big plus.

Sean Twomey
Sean Twomey

Despite a naturally a defensive mind, 3 goals and 2 assists from a defender playing in DM is very respectable return.

If we got those same stats from Elneny, Torreira and Guendouzi we’d be pleased with them.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

We simply have to keep him.
And I don’t think Johnnie is aware that Beilik is in fact a DM.

In fact in all honesty, I would say apart from injuries, his conversion to a CB stifled him. I know this was under Wenger, who seemingly didn’t seem to like big physical DMs anymore post-Invincibles (something I never really understood considering all his success with them, but then converted all our promising academy DMs like Song, Djourour, Hayden, preferring smaller DMs whom he would later convert to Box-to-Box ala Coquelin and Frimpong), but Beilik’s development took a step backward as he had to learn to be a CB.

Futsboller
Futsboller

It might have slowed his progress but it sounds like it has helped his overall game (understanding your position, DM, from the position behind, CB, is excellent tutelage) — and that will benefit his entire career. Charlton have spent more time with him than we have this season, so I would trust their judgement on what he might bring to Arsenal. I think he could come in and do a job for us, perhaps at the base of a diamond midfield (freeing up our fullbacks to push forward more as he shields the two centrebacks).

And I agree with you completely that we have to keep him. I’ve been hoping to see him make it back into our squad, somehow, the last two seasons, but the loans were probably smart. But with a new manager in place, why not begin to shape Arsenal’s future with its future: Martinez, Bielik, Smith-Rowe, Nelson, and Nketiah are all internal solutions to outgoing problems/holes, and can add to our growing list of increasingly competent young players in Holding, Mavropanos, and possibly Chambers, who just need a little more, a little more stability and opportunity, to solidify themselves. We’ve already paid for these players; we’ve already invested in them; we’ve already trained and groomed them in the Arsenal way: Emery claimed he was looking forward to working with our young players, and the time is now — otherwise, we will lose them like we’ve lost some of our best players over the years who no longer buy into project Arsenal.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

The development wasn’t to improve his defensive awareness but to actually convert him into a CV as Wenger already said he likes his CBs to first and foremost (even above defensive ability) to be good and initiate play from the back.

Beilik went from being one of our best academy player to being a kinda typical arsenal defender; good on then ball and getting caught out of position as he was found higher up in midfield. We’ve seen this same issue in the likes or Song and Djourou who followed the same development path and those issues never went away. It’s a hallmark of typical arsenal defenders.

Every time he played as a DM he looked back to normal then when put back to CB it was filled with “played well but caught out due to positioning”. We’ve seen this happen to previous academy prospects and I didn’t want that happening to him.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

But overall yeah I agree with everything you said.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

My only concern with this (and contrary to the recently weeks, I’m still a fan of Emery’s tactical flexibility), I’m kinda worried Emery isn’t keen on playing with too much youth. My biggest concern with him is he started the league with a genuine meritocracy but as time went on, stuck to a rigid hierarchy of experience. Guys like Saka who was on the verge kinda get sidelined, yet Iwobi carried on without any competition.

If it turns out Emery isn’t the man, then I’m all for Freddie taking charge and leading a new youth revolution.

Pookins
Pookins

I thought he was a DM to begin with, and then Arsene converted him to a CB. Johnnie’s comments above made me think I’d been mistaken. Thanks for confirming. Emery likes 2 deep midfielders..maybe Bielik and Torriera together?

Mpls
Mpls

Wenger frequently had young players do a stint in another position to broaden their skills, vision, and understanding of the game.

If there was actually intent to move Bielik long term to CB it’s most likely because Arsenal wants ball playing, skilled CBs.

Otherwise I’d be inclined to agree with Futsboller that the CB work was to improve his overall game.

goonero
goonero

He’s got a similar skillset to Chambers, good readers of the game with above average technique for defensive players, so they are comfortable on the ball and more than capable of playing in midfield.

Bielik is obviously younger and quite a bit bigger than Chambers and has show (imho) a bit more bravery and leadership than Calum. That said they’ve both had excellent seasons and Chambers has once again shown that he’s a valuable asset to a Premier League team (Boro and Fulham) which Bielik still needs to do.

I wish he’d had a season in a more competitive league to really test his credentials because he’s clearly not really challenged by League 1 football.

PeteyB
PeteyB

So maybe we should be looking to bring Chambers in this year and see if we can get a PL loan for Bielik? Or Bundesliga. I’ve not seen enough of Bielik to know how he compares with Chambers. Guess that will be management’s job this summer.

goonero
goonero

Yep. Definitely the way I’d like to see it done. I really rate Chambers potential very highly, and seeing how much Holding progressed under Emery I expect similar things for Chambers.

Bielik should be looking at this Arsenal backline and feeling like he has every chance of getting in there within a season or two so I’d like to see him extend his contract and to go out on a more challenging loan with hopes of making a name for himself and coming back to stake a real claim in the side.

Koscielny and Monreal don’t have more than a season left at this level (I think Kos would be hurting himself by continuing to push his body), Sokratis isn’t far behind and hasn’t really convinced me he should be a default starter anyway. Mavropanos is lower down the totem pole than Bielik as things stand for me (unproven and very little game time in a year and a half, needs a loan badly).

So that leaves our defense looking like Holding, Sokratis, Chambers, one of Monreal and Koscielny (there’s too much experience and leadership lost if they both go at the same time, fitness permitting I’d choose Kos, but more than likely it’ll be Monreal as he’s the more versatile player) and a new signing who takes Kos’s mantle of lead CB. In a seasons time that could be just Holding, Chambers, new signing, so there’s every chance Bielik has a future with us. Young CBs are at a premium just now so we’d do well to keep him on the books.

Maul Person
Maul Person

I remember it being said that by 20 / 21, it is known whether a player is good enough to make the step up to the first team or should be moved on… the point being that I don’t know what another loan move will tell us (by the end, Bielik would be 22 and would have been at Arsenal for 6 years without making a dent in the first team). I do think he should be given a chance in the first team but if not, that he should move on.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

I fear losing some of our talented youngsters if they are not given a chance. As has been previously said by commenters, we can learn from Ajax.

Hantal
Hantal

So that’s him and chambers playing holding midfield for us next year is it?

Mpls
Mpls

If so 5 for 2 spots is going to be a tough go for a couple of them

Santori
Santori

Not good enough either player.

We need a better midfielder.

Neither are as good as Granit in midfield.

Maul Person
Maul Person

On a serious note, in the ranking of CMs, where do you place Granit? You seem to rate him quite highly… the kind of rating that makes me wonder if you have his poster in your bedroom!

K9ine
K9ine

Sell him to Charlton if they are promoted with a buy back clause if he develops well at that level.
Can’t be worse than xhaka at d moment.

Martin
Martin

Tell me one deep lying midfielder better than Xhaka. One of the best passers in the country

Santori
Santori

People tend to have their own delusions about how certain players are worse than they are.

Granit has made mistakes but so has Monreal, Torreira even Sokratis.

OTOH Granit provides us with a quick release from his long range passing that is an asset.

The issue is cover next to Granit hasn’t been as good as some would like to think it is, particularly with Torreira.

Jack but
Jack but

Stats don’t lie

Dave
Dave

Give him an 5 years contract, and keep him as cover for Torreira (or you know, he could take Elneny place in the team). At the same time he could cover for CB, seems a good deal to me, he is still young and still have room to improve, and he can’t do worst than Mustafi or the aforementioned Elneny

Santori
Santori

Not good enough. We need a way better midfield.

Even Torreira has not been as stellar as some people prefer to wank off to.

He was poor either side of Xmas conspiring to give away or be fleeced of the ball 6 or 7 times in critical areas that led to goals against by West Ham, BHA, Soton, Liverpool.

That was 11 points dropped.

Maul Person
Maul Person

I don’t recall Xhaka being particularly great in his first season. I also recall Xhaka personally being responsible for goals conceded. THIS SEASON. Please bear in mind that Torreira came into a new league in a new country off the back of a massive WC so was invariably going to fade at some point.

But of course you’d knock one player because it’ll make Xhaka look all the more impressive.

George
George

With Elneny (I figure) and Mustafi (I pray) leaving, I can’t see how he wouldn’t have enough opportunities to play if he’s good enough.

Santori
Santori

We can barely sell Jenkinson and Elneny (let alone Mustafi)

Those two are so good that Mustafi is preferred to Jenkinson at Rback.

Ask yourself who want to pay money for Mustafi?

Can’t even give Jenkinson away.

Mustafi at least has utility as a 3rd or 4th choice Cback

Santori
Santori

Certainly need to assess BOTH Chambers and Bielik carefully.

Regardless, we should bring a new (solid and prime age 23 to 28) Cback to replace the aging koscielny. It would be a mistake to hold him another season with increasing durability issues.

Then depending on if we can find a buyer for Mustafi (i hear Gazidis is keen at Milan), we need to assess Chambers appetite to stay against Bielik. Bielik playing in a lower division is difficult to assess but Chambers done well at Fulham albeit they were abject defensively.

So moving parts.

Santori
Santori

Mavropanos needs to go out on a STRONG loan to accelerate development.

Kostas
Kostas

Personally I trust Papa and Holding.
Chambers and Bielik can be back ups and/or the third defender.
Mayropanos loaned out.
Kos should be kept around for his leadership and experience.
Mustafi…you know.

The most important thing in the market is finding someone to replace Ramsey (box to box with good engine and end product) and a proper winger.

lari03
lari03

I really want this guy to play for us. He’s got the small ball stealing trick like Torreira, and he is taller and aggressive.

Moxrex
Moxrex

12 Yellow cards mean, 12 mistakes which possibly could lead to goal scoring opportunities. That is kind of similar to Xhaka in terms of positioning. It seems he may be a bit raw. I have not watched him play so all is based on one stat.

Doghouse

a HMP who can play CB, can I have 3 of these please, seriously let’s get this fella back, awful injuries have stopped this blokes progression, had top reviews about his potential.