Krystian Bielik has had a decent pre-season playing at centre-back for Arsenal, a role which he loves despite previously being a midfielder.
The 18-year-old shows maturity beyond his years on the pitch and although his technique is a little rough around the edges, all the signs are there that in a few years time he could be a brilliant defender.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 8-0 over Viking FK, the Poland youth international revealed that he’s been getting tips from Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, and that he’s ready for Wenger to give him a chance.
“I’m a centre back now so it’s nothing special for me that I play at centre back,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I’m still learning and I’m still working hard. I’m ready to play. I’m working hard and I’m waiting for my chance.
“Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are two of the best centre backs. Per is really helpful for me. He tries to help me all the time and it’s a pity that he’s injured right now.
“We need him but we have another really good centre back in Gabriel, so I’m trying to learn from all of them in every single training session. If I have any problems then they try to explain it to me. It’s a good experience to train with them.
“When I have Kieran on my left I feel really comfortable. It’s the same with Nacho as well. I’m feeling fit so if Mr Wenger wants me to play, then I’m ready to play. Pre-season is really good for me. I work really hard and I’m waiting for my chance.”
Bielik has been impressive and it’s handy to have another option at the back. Although we do still need a more experienced centre-back considering Per’s knee injury will have him out for four more months.
One of the positives of pre-season is seeing the youngsters on the fringe of the senior squad being given a chance to show what they’re made of. They’re very aware that this is their opportunity to show the boss how capable they are and give him a reason to promote them to the first team, if only for cup matches.
It’s good to see that Bielik, despite his young age, is hungry for success.