The name Krystian Bielik may seem strange to many football fans but to a die-hard Arsenal supporter,it’s almost a forgotten name.
Bielik is a Polish footballer who joined Arsenal in the winter transfer window of 2014/2015 season from Polish league champions,Legia Warsaw for a reported fee of £2.5 million.
Before joining Arsenal, Bielik made his debut for Legia Warsaw at the age of 16.He was described then as “an imposing and commanding central midfielder”.He was touted to be the next ‘Patrick Vieira’.
It was only a matter of time before he joined Arsenal because of the history between the two clubs (Arsenal & Legia) with Szceszny and Fabianski on our books.
He joined the youth set-up at Arsenal and in no time started training with the first team.He was converted from a central midfielder to a central defender by Arsene Wenger who believed he could thrive in the centre back position and after the case of a decimated defensive unit which was hit by injury.
Bielik was prominent in the club’s 2016/2017 pre-season’s tour of the United States where he impressed.
He made his Arsenal debut in the League Cup against Sheffield Wednesday but he was later farmed out on loan to Birmingham City in the Championship as he was deemed inexperienced by Wenger.
He impressed in the blues colour but his progress was hampered by a series of shoulder injuries which was a first of many injuries to come.He returned to Arsenal to continue his recovery from injury.He was contracted by Walsall FC but yet again injury reared its ugly head as he tweaked his knee during his recovery process and couldn’t take part in the club’s activities.
There’s no doubt about Bielik’s footballing abilities but just like Wilshere, Diaby, Rosicky to mention but a few his body just seems to let him down, Wenger had this to say about Bielik,” he has all the ingredients and qualities to be a top-level centre back”.
It was shocking to see he was not part of the 25-man squad to Singapore for the club’s pre-season tour.In his position, the emerging Jordi Osei-Tutu and the delectable Emile Smith Rowe who had a fantastic season in the youth set up.
Bielik can still impress Unai Emery if only he can stay fit and prove his worth. He should be jostling for a position in the first team with the likes of Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah,Rob Holding, Maitland-Niles, Mavropanos.Interestingly, Bielik trained with the first team before the aforementioned players except for Maitland-Niles.
Most analysts would often say that injuries are a huge part of the game but if he understands his body well enough and change his training style or diet I believe he would eventually make it permanently to the first team.He has a whole career ahead of him as he is only 20.