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
Yellow cards: 12
Red cards: 0