Polish teenager Krystian Bielik played half an hour for the Arsenal first team on a horrible Tuesday night in Sheffield.
The Gunners faced Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup, but Bielik wasn’t introduced for his Arsenal debut until the hosts already led 3-0. Though he couldn’t affect the result, he did show some of the quality which had convinced Arsenal to sign him nearly a year ago.
For the U21 team, the Pole has been playing in defence. However, his Arsenal debut came in his more familiar midfield role and he looked more settled than far more experienced team-mates. With Bielik on the pitch, Arsenal were suddenly far more composed.
Playing against a side which already had a healthy lead, Bielik may have faced a lower intensity match than Glen Kamara, who had started in the same position. Nonetheless, he showed that he was strong and calm on the ball and looked at ease in midfield.
Wenger paid around £3m for Bielik back in January and, on this evidence, he could prove to have been a bargain just yet. Anyone who could pass straight would’ve looked good of Arsenal on the night, but it’s safe to say the Pole was one of the best performers for the Gunners despite only playing half an hour.
More first team opportunities are, hopefully, in the not so distant future.