Krystian Bielik has revealed how he felt when Arsene Wenger moved him from midfield to centre-back.
Speaking recently, the 18-year-old revealed that although he was a little disgruntled at being switched position, he now feels he’s a really good centre-back.
“I played at Legia Warsaw as a defensive midfielder, but sometimes I was an offensive midfielder,” Bielik said to Arsenal Player.
“Last season, I remember coming to the under-21s, and [Arsène Wenger] told me that from today I would start training as a centre back.
“They decided they wanted to try me at centre back, and I started training there. After the first game we played really good, and I felt it was alright. When Arsenal changed my position, I wasn’t very happy because it wasn’t what I loved in football. From a midfielder to a centre back, it was a big difference for me.
“Now I feel much better, and I feel I can be a really good centre back.
“When I train with the first team, I feel I’m making really good progress in this position. Compared to three months ago, I have made really good progress. I feel like a really good player now.
“I’m happy if I can play. If I can play in the first team, I can play at left back or right back. If Mr. Wenger sees me at centre back and thinks I can be better at centre back than midfielder, I can’t say anything. I just have to train very hard.”
Bielik appears confident in his new role, which is a good thing because obviously we want all our players to feel comfortable but also because we need centre-backs right now. Per Mertesacker injuring his knee was not only selfish of the German (does he not know we already need to strengthen our defence?) but a nuisance. Although we’re probably going to sign someone new, it can’t hurt training up our existing players so that they can be more versatile and therefore more useful to the squad.
Last season, Bielik made 32 appearances in all competitions for the youth squad and he’s already been involved in our pre-season so far alongside new signing, Rob Holding. Bear in mind, he only signed for Arsenal from Polish side Legia Warsaw in January 2015.
It’ll be interesting to see if he gets more senior game time or even just more League Cup experience during the coming season.