Sunday, April 21, 2024

Confirmed: Krystian Bielik signs for Derby County

It has been confirmed that Krystian Bielik has left Arsenal for Derby County in a permanent deal that could earn us up to £10 million.

The Poland under-21 international played was a regular for the club’s under-23s during his three and a half years at the Emirates but only played 33 minutes for the first team.

Bielik was pitched as ‘one for the future’ when Arsene Wenger paid £2.5 million to recruit him from Legia Warsaw but a couple of ill-timed injuries stifled his progress in N5 and ruined a short spell at Walsall.

Birmingham City and Charlton both made good use of his versatility during loan spells in the Championship and League One respectively. His performances last season, both at centre-back and the base of a midfield diamond, helped the Addicks earn promotion.

He went on to impress at the Under-21 European Championships in Italy where he scored a couple of goals to turn the heads of a number of suitors.

Given he’s barely played for us, a £10 million fee (£500,000 of which will go to Legia) is a pretty decent price although some will always question why he wasn’t given a real shot by Unai Emery.

Good luck to Krystian at Derby, watching him under the tutelage of Philip Cocu will be intriguing.

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Papa Pepe’s PEA Party

Any idea if we have any buy-back/first refusal clause, Blogs? Good luck to him, he’s got real promise, I just hope that if he does reach the top level we have something inserted in the deal that protects our investment.


re: buy-back, a reasonable question but wouldn’t seem likely given how things ended, odd as it was.

Papa Pepe’s PEA Party

Yeah it does seem rather odd, but despite some negative takes on events by the media it doesn’t actually appear to be all that hostile a situation. He simply outgrew the opportunities he felt he had at Arsenal, be they the U23s or perhaps another loan. I can sympathise with Bielik wanting to fast-track his career given he’s missed the large chunks already. Fingers crossed no doors are permanently shut as he may well be one to watch over the coming years!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Not that he wants to fast track his career. He deserves that as much as Guendouzi does. Some other coaches would have sent Douzie on loan then sell him.


True, but I think most of us would have liked him to be given more of a chance to show what he could do. Who knows, if he had been he could have been “one to watch” playing for us.


Not blaming Wenger for the profit we made on this one then?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

We deserve almost nothing from his future sales. Charlton should get the percentage instead.

A Different George

Well, you know, you’re talking about justice or what’s right. This is football.

Lord Bendnter

We are the Arsenal. We don’t do Clauses. Not contractual ones, not imaginary ones.

Dave M



Yep, but on the other hand: logically it should mean, that our coaching staff rate Mavropanos even higher. With him, Holding, and Saliba already in the bag -> even the near future looks promising to me.

Dave M

Reckon it might have more to do with Mavrapanos being around last year and Beilik being on loan and Emery knowing nothing about him and not having much interest in knowing. He can’t have seen him much can he. Away all last year and came back late due to summer internationals. Not sure the rush to move him (especially right now)…


But it can’t have been all Emery’s decision, either. Other coaches and staff are also there to monitor these things.

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

“they didn’t see me as the future anymore and the manager had different plans as well”.” – Bielik.

Sounds like it had a lot to do with Emery.


I’m guessing the “rush” is to fund signinf(s). Whether that’s Tierney with a revised strucrture or a much-needed CB, is anybody’s guess.
I know I’ll be sad to see him go without a run in the first team, but i don’t watch him in training and I haven’t seen him play in his loan spells.

Papa Large, big shot in North London

Can anyone explain to me why we don’t give guys like Bielik (his age and promise) a 2 year loan spell at clubs like Charlton or Derby who should be either promoted or trying for promotion? It would give them a good run of games, get them established in the team set up for a bit, then they’re at an age and experience level where they have a better shot of making our first team? There’s a big jump from league 1 and 2 or the Arsenal reserves to the top of the Championship then into a club that should… Read more »


Such a shame.


Yeah, still don’t understand why we didn’t give this guy a better opportunity to prove himself with us, but he has proven he’s up the challenge of doing his job in more than one position and I wouldn’t be surprised if we line up against him in the next few years as he moves his way up. A shame to let someone with the qualities we’re often looking for (6’2, defensive-minded, potential captain, young yet mature at 21, already 4.5 years with the Arsenal-badge near his heart) go so quickly, but perhaps he’s just a casualty of the changing regimes… Read more »


Hope we got a sell on or buy back clause in there. Disappointed he was never given a chance to show what he could do, I was always convinced he could be an asset for us at CDM

Man Manny

What’s done is done. Good luck to him.
Use that money and make Kieran Tierney happen.


Am I the only person looking at that deal and thinking it would be nice but I’d rather have a center back first? Pepe was a special case given the sky high potential.

Public Elneny

We really need both. I don’t think Nacho has much left to give at this level unfortunately and Kolasinac can’t defend, so a solid LB is pretty vital.

But yeah CB is clearly a necessity too, come on Upamecano!


Good money, but feel like this could come back to bite us later. He’s only 21, and was by far Charlton’s best player last season. He’s Championship level easily already, and when you think we got Guendouzi from the French second division, I can’t see why Bielik hasn’t been given a chance. £10m is good money but reckon he’ll be worth much more than that soon, especially if Derby go up like I expect them to


I think it’s more down to what Bielik wanted than us not wanting him. He’d be looking at another loan spell or a marginal role, and he feels like he’s ready for more than that. Look at Holding and Chambers, they are in their 3rd and 5th seasons respectively and neither of them have completed a full campaign in the Arsenal XI, for reference Chambers played 31 games for Fulham, he’s played 48 for Arsenal. For a player who still has to prove he can do it at the very highest level, and who could easily have gone another 2… Read more »

SB Still

Very valid view. A first option or buy back would have been useful. Hopefully there is a big sell-out clause.

My Cousin Vinai

By all accounts, he wasn’t seeking regular play, but to be around the first team. We didn’t even give him a look in.

It’s shame really. Honestly, I think Arsenal’s initial desire to change him to a CB set him back. Wenger seemingly moved away from specialists DMs, let alone big guys playing that role, and it hurt him.

Even as a DM, we don’t really have many back ups to Torreira. Neither Burton nor anyone else have achieved the level Bielik did for the u23s


Arsenal fans respecting each other’s contrasting views? What is going on?!

Man Manny

The arrival of Nicholas has made us less Pépéry

Maul Person

How does he prove he can do it at the highest level if he’s not given the chance to prove it? Surely you’d question your employer’s desire to keep you if you spent 5 years being interned off some place else?


I don’t know, personally I’d of sold elneny and used bielik as cover for dm dc and main dm for domestic cups and early europa

Jake Paynter

If this frees some space and gives us some funds to buy a older CB I’m all for it. It’s sad to see someone of his potential go but with the dier need to bring in someone with more experience it’s a worthwhile sale imo


Don’t speak that name on this site! That square-headed trashcan..
It’s dire 😉


Will blogs be kind enough to add all these sales up (Beilik, Asano, Amaechi, Ospina) and give us a nice rounded number of the total sum we’ve earned from transfers out, and then also give us a nice rounded number of the total sum we’ve spent on transfers in (including the loan deal for Ceballos), so that losers like me (I’m sure there are plenty) may look at it and derive some obscure pleasure out of it, something that can only be derived from looking at nicely rounded numbers that tell the whole story? 🙂 I keep going to transfermarkt,… Read more »


The Guardian website has a transfer tracker (and you can search by club). Some fees probably undisclosed though.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Let’s wait a bit, Mikhi hasn’t been sold yet.


Mikhi and Musti hopefully.

Dave M

Can we slip a Mikhi in some execs drink and then maybe he must-‘av-‘i Shkodran as well?

Oh Gill you did it again…

Merlin's Panini

Best of luck to him. That’s a decent chunk of money so a decent deal for all.
I would’ve liked to see him given a go but if the plan is to bring in another centre back it would be understandable that he leaves.


It would have been a big step up from League One to the Prem and perhaps the club decided to cash in while they still could. A fair decision imo

North London is Redder

Finally we’re selling smart. A player who was unlikely to ever reach the heights of a top six team given a shop window and sold himself to a decent championship side. 10 million we can re-invest in a player for us now.

Dave M

That’s the debate isn’t it. Seems to be showing plenty of promise that he could actually get to that level. Great if we can reinvest to get a player that ACTUALLY improves the team, but that is likely HUGE money. I’ve always liked what I’ve seen from him including at Charlton and his U/21 highlights. IMO he was worth a run with the first team this year. I’d rather give him a go than Mustafi again, time will tell…wouldn’t have been my choice, but hey (thankfully to all) I’m not in charge, thus I’m stuck with you lot giving opinions… Read more »

North London is Redder

I think he’ll be a decent jobbing Championship defender. I’m going to trust the scouts, data analysts and others at the club on this one rather than Lee Bowyer, hearsay and a decent (attacking) performance in the group stages of a youth tournament that his team didn’t progress from.

Dave M

The thing is from all the more knowledgable press on this is that it was more to do with not being a part of the “in-crowd” since he was (1) brought in before Emery and (2) on loan since his arrival than it may have been with talent. Mavrapanos was around the club last year. Probably gives him the leg up. Relationships with the manager matter. Arsenal scouts make mistakes (almost more than they hit on in terms of defenders) – remember these are the scouts that brought us failures of the likes of Mustafi, Squillaci, Santos, Senderos, Djourou, Silvestre,… Read more »

A Different George

Didn’t we also have a tall German guy who did okay in the FA Cup final?

Dave M

That’s true…does he count as being scouted? He was a massively capped German international…(bit like Papa). Those signings seem more coach based (who they know and are interested in).

Merlin's Panini

Who’s Papadopolous?
Looks like you missed out Papastathopoulos though ;), and Mertesacker.

Djourou wasn’t that bad at all. He just got played out of position at right back for a few months and everyone got on his back. It ruined his Arsenal career when he was a perfectly decent centre back.

Maul Person

But we haven’t heard from all those… we just heard from [unknown] who said Emery doesn’t want him. Seems less about the scouts and data analysts and more about the Emery, as Dave alluded to. So we don’t know how good he’ll be because he was never given a fair shot.

Mesut O’Neill

Or more likely it covers Ozil’s wages for half a season.


Hope there is a buy back clause.
He was in the last year of contract so not too bad money wise.

Maul Person

After this, you think he’d want to come back?




This shows none of the top flight European teams came calling. Not even mid table or bottom end ones.


Spot on. Playing well in 3rd division and in a youth tournament tells us nothing. At least nothing about how he would fare against real pace and skills

My Cousin Vinai

Maybe some game time in the preseason would’ve, maybe?
Which is kinda Bielik’s point.

All this “no top European teams came in” and “it’s third division” yet when we bought a French tier 2 player for £7M everyone was excited.

Ever considered he chose the club where he felt he could play the most?

Non flying dutchman

Disagree. Top tier, championship clubs both richer and generally better then bottom of table teams in all of Europe’s top flight leagues. Perhaps surprising that a mid table Bundasliga club might not have bit, though I would still imagine team like Derby to have m

Non flying dutchman

.. ore funds at there dispoal


Gold or iron ore?

North London is Redder

Derby are in financial trouble at the moment actually. Their success last year was based on expensive loans (yeah it’s expensive for them to pay the fees and a hefty % of prem wages) and so they didn’t get any money back for their push in sales. So they are having to replace a spine on peanuts. I think they will struggle this season.


If we have buy back and sell on then fine I guess. maybe we need the funds now….bit sad he never got a chance.


Best of luck to him. Seeing Charlton fans mention it was because of his intelligence in games that they stood chance of promotion made me think we could have used some of it for all the defensive errors we make. Hope he has a great career and hope we do have some kind of clause in his contract. Still sad to see him leave without being given a chance, but can understand statements made by the new team of not getting bullied by players and contracts anymore and them sticking to their decisions unlike IVAN THE TERRIBLE.


On the one hand it is decent money. But if he has a stellar season at Derby, we could well come to regret it. But it’s done now.

Good luck to the bloke. Hope he has an injury free time from here on in.


That’s only 6 shy of what we payed for Chambers and he was younger and premier league tested at the time, excellent bit of business for us.

Pepe is here

Chambers was signed 5 years ago before the massive wad of TV money came in, prices have skyrocketed even for average players since then. 16m for Chambers back then would more likely be 30m these days.


It’s a shame that we are so well covered in central defence and defensive midfield.

I can’t see us ever needing him given all the great players we have there…


£10 million is solid. Best of luck to Krystyna



Okechukwu Jude

I don’t like this. I see another gnabry situation here. I hope it doesn’t come back to bite us.

Monkey Joe

Tosers. #EmeryOut


Definitely a nice profit for a player that never played any significant minutes for us, but seems a shame he was never given a real opportunity.

Iron Ljung

Scandalous that he was never given so much as a chance.


This is a bummer, was really hoping we could give the lad a chance, specially since he can cover 2 positions in our team (positions in which we aren’t exactly world beaters). Would be nice if we had a buy back clause but sadly I doubt it.

Best luck to the lad, and let’s see the bright side, hopefully this money help us get Tierney and a CB

SB Still

Unfortunate that he is being sold without a proper opportunity. Hopefully the approach is he maybe one for the future but we need an experienced head now especially given the situations with Kos and Mustafi.

Pepe is here

Given that McBurnie (24 year old striker who doesn’t even get into the Scotland team) just went to Sheffield Utd for 20m, makes this transfer fee seem pretty low considering Bielek’s great season and potential.


Whilst £10 million pounds is a decent sum, it seems a shame that a centre half with his technical & passing ability and capacity to read the game wasn’t given a meaningful opportunity in our first team to show what he could do, for whatever reason. It just shows – yet again – the roles that injuries & timing can play in determining how a player’s career can pan out. I just hope that, as with the transfer of Jeff Reine Adelaide, this doesn’t come back to bite us in the butt. Let’s hope we included a suitable sell-on or… Read more »


We are investing heavily, and already have a couple of Young midfielders in the 1st team. Bielik is on a very positive trend, but not really proven in Arsenal = this deal makes perfect sense


We should have kept him for at least half a season. Given him a bit more time and increased his transfer value. Hes probably better than mustafi and his tall and young unlike nacho and kos. Hopefully saliba is a beast and mavropanos is too


Not necessarily better than Mustafi. Same was said of mavropanos but then following the wishful thinking of many, his deficiencies began to be seen over more games.

BUT he defo would replace Mustafi or Sokratis in near future.

Which is why Saliba deal is all the more puzzling at 27m eventual cost which should he not deliver will have bearing on future transfer budgets however incremental.

And we have(had) both Bielik and Mavropanos to develop still.


Seems like a strange choice from the outside but at least we did something instead of dilly-dallying around. If Emery really doesn’t want to use him (and he obviously doens’t) and he really didn’t want to stick around and wait it out (and he obviously didn’t) at least we got a decent fee for him.


I think Unai cedes some authority on these decisions to Raul.

There seems to be a bit of horse trading bc of our structure.

Paul Roberts

10 Million towards defensive signings….all good imo.


Not if we don’t spend it in the right place or prefer not to spend enough.

And not if we keep selling poorly. We can generate 10m elsewhere without loss to better potentials in the squad.

Saw Jeff the other they and he was pretty silky, could have been useful for us in coming seasons particularly with midfield as yet unresolved with Cebellos only on loan.

We could have found a better way to keep him.

Paul Roberts

Maitland-Niles Chambers Sokratis Monreal
Xhaka Torreira
Pepe Ozil Aubs
Our first game lineup? Views?


Thereis no first choice.

Unai is savvy enough to know we need different options and styles of play.

This is simply silly.


If you mean this to be opening number, well Torreira has barely worked in.

Monreal has looked more iffy than Kolasinac pre-season.

Mustafi had more time with Sokratis than Chambers against Anger.

I think we have abetter definitive answer on that with the forthcoming Barca match.

Monkey Joe

#EmeryOut and savvy?! Don’t be silly. Just do #EmeryOut.


No room for Coutinho then for a reported (?) £27M signing-on-even-though-it’s-just-a-loan fee.

My Cousin Vinai

I think this is further evidence that sometimes a loan actually works against a player. Whilst Bielik was out thereat Charlton, players like Olayinka and Burton who, no offence to them, haven’t even reached his heights of consistency, became closer to the first team the ever had. Sometimes a loan spell just puts you out of the mind of the first team coach and integration, rather than hanging around close to the first team. If he hadnt gone on loan, chances are he would’ve played at then Europa. Seen this a few times in the past, like Madvididi, who was… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

Do tell us again about Burton & Olayinka. Please. We haven’t heard this completely irrelevant point half enough.


Not irrelevant. Its a great point.

These players appear impressive pre-season but that not the only gauge and the best way to polish them plus test them is on strong loan to watch their consistency in high performance over a long period.

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

Cry much? Let me repeat it again; neither Burton & Olayinka have reached the heights of Bielik for the u23s, and that’s a fact. At best, watch the games, at worst. go ask Jorge on his views and he will tell you the same. Neither have every shown as much promise as he has, yet both become closer to the first team in his absence (when Freddie is recommending players, he’s naturally going to recommend Burton, as he’s worked with him for the season, whilst he’s never worked with Bielik). Is there anything else you need clarification on? Because saying… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

Cry much ? What a truly odd thing to say. Only one other person on here speaks like that, santoribot. Not good company to be keeping. My point (which I made clear the last time when you didn’t respond) is that those 2 players aren’t near the first team as you keep saying. They are making up numbers in pre season. End of. I never once suggested either were better than him & never said there was anything wrong in you saying he was better than them. What I am saying is that point adds zero to your argument &… Read more »

My Cousin Vinai

Apologies if I didn’t respond to your previous points, I don’t always check every comment section, such as the speed of development this week. However playing in preseason to put yourself in front of the mind of the head coach IS closer to the first team than the player who didn’t even get a look in. Why is this difficult to understand? They may not be in the first team, but they are obviously closer. I don’t get your claim about keeping it sensible, did I insult Burton or Olayinka? All I said is they haven’t reached his heights and… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

Olayinka is nearly 3 years younger than Bielik. I’ll just leave it at that.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Cry much? Mate, only one poster on here makes childish, nonsensical comments like that & it is really not good company to be in. I never said either were better or that saying Bielik was more talented was outlandish. The point is (again) those two are making up the numbers in pre-season & no more. Repeating over & over that they are ‘closer to the first team’ is just ompletely irrelevant. Make your case that the club are wrong to let Bielik go, fair enough. I don’t agree but I understand it. Just keep the argument sensible & relevant, going… Read more »


We’ll, it’s a shame in my opinion. He really didn’t get a chance to show what he could do (or not do) and, like many a younger player before him, he’s off. I notice that the reported fee is “up to” £10 million (£9.5million more accurately), presumably based partly on appearances. I doubt it’s anything approaching that up front though. No other info. on a buy-back or sell-on clause. Perhaps this will become clear in the next few days. We managed to sell him pretty quickly, no such luck with Mustafi (so far) though. Do other clubs know something we… Read more »


Mustafi will be complicated by wage. Plus we have to be more wary and also less naive. It will depend on the level of Cback we can/or are willing to spend on. Not just any Cback is automatically better than Mustafi and represents an upgrade. We should not be replacing for replacement sack even if Mustafi has faults. He was again pretty solid against Angers but those detractors tend to shy away from comment when he does well or puts in a good tackle. Noticed as well odd that we did not play Chambers and Sokratis second half if that… Read more »


No, thinking (as you put it) tells most of us that Mustafi is clearly hopeless including Emery apparently. Your comment, “… Mustafi has faults.” must rank as the understatement of the year so far! He is an actual liability for the team in almost every game he plays. That’s how bad he is, and that’s unacceptable. That’s not naivety, that’s using the evidence of our eyes. You’re right about Mustafi’s wages being a barrier – but that’s Arsenal’s fault when Wenger was in charge. We not only paid hugely over the odds for him (nobody can say he’s justified the… Read more »


No, thinking (as you put it) tells most of us that Mustafi is clearly hopeless including Emery apparently. That’s not naivety, that’s using the evidence of our eyes. Your comment, “… Mustafi has faults.” must rank as the understatement of the year so far! You’re right about wages being a barrier – and that’s Arsenal’s fault. We not only paid hugely over the odds for him (nobody can say he’s justified the £35 million fee, apart from Valencia that is – you can still hear them laughing.), we also paid a salary reported to be in six figures a week… Read more »


Bit of a shame he is going to championship.

And he’s only 21yrs with long contract. We could hold him for one more year on a good loan to a better club and increase his value still.

Much rather if we need to make some dosh get rid of players like Mhkitaryan (in addition to either Mustafi or Chambers). The Armenian is at end of career and should still fetch a decent price in and around 10m mark for slightly slower leagues like say Italy.

Don’t understand the thinking.


I assume he’s gone because he was capable of bringing in a decent transfer fee


Considering that we’ve sometimes kept promising players a bit longer in the past and then lost them on contract expiry instead of decisively selling earlier, this can also be viewed as a positive. Evidently, the staff decided he would not develop as far as needed. Their judgments may well turn out wrong, but those are just the risks we need to take with our decision-making.


Time will tell. If Bielik turns out to be a better centreback and/or defensive midfielder than Chambers (which I think he already is); if Bielik turns out to be less injury prone than Chambers and is a better leader than Chambers (and Bielik is an outstanding leader); if Bielik turns out to be a more productive goal-scorer than Chambers, then Arsenal fans will never be allowed to forget this moment. Just as long as no-one ends up buying him for £50 or £100 million in five years’ time (which categorically isn’t going to happen to Chambers) … because that would… Read more »


There are lots of ifs and buts


Chambers has certainly never lived up to expectations at centre back, or justified his transfer fee (we did waste a buck load of cash buying players from Southampton, didn’t we). He was played mainly in midfield when at Fulham and that should tell us something. Unlike Bielik, Chambers had plenty of chances at Arsenal – albeit he was probably thrown in at the deep end a tad too soon after arriving – and his performances were, generally speaking, very underwhelming. He’s supposed to be on Emery’s “exit” list but (so far) nobody appears to want to buy him. I wonder… Read more »


Did you just say bigger and better things at Derby?
Have a look at yourself


I’m sad about this, I had hoped he would have at least been given a chance. All the best of luck to him, he’s a very good young player.


Bielik was signed in January 2015, so that’s four and a half years at Arsenal to be precise


And how many real chances was he given to show what he can do? If he had been – and had flopped, that’s fine. At a time when we’re crying out for centre backs – unless we keep playing Mustafi – we’ve let a young player leave who could, stress could, have fitted the bill.

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