Chelsea legend, Gianfranco Zola, was impressed by Krystian Bielik after the Pole made his debut for Birmingham City against Preston North End.

“In general I would say it was a positive performance from him,” Zola, who now manages Birmingham, said.

“In the first-half he was suffering a bit. He was a little bit exposed. But second-half he was good, so overall a positive.

“They had big bodies up front and he was given his chance as he has the size and presence to deal with those crosses into the box and those long balls Preston play.

“Also, Krystian has been impressive in training for us and showed his qualities – he deserved an opportunity.”

Bielik, 19, arrived at Arsenal in 2015 for just under £2m. Signed from Legia Warsaw, he has impressed with the Arsenal youth teams and seems well placed to make a break through with the seniors in the coming seasons.

His current Arsenal contract runs until 2020 and he was a late addition to the Birmingham squad on deadline day. His transfer was completed just 15 minutes before it shut.