Walsall manager Jon Whitney praised Krystian Bielik after signing the young Arsenal defender on loan until the end of the season.

In Sunday’s edition of The Football League Paper, Whitney talked about why he signed the 20-year-old.

“Krystian is a very technical, ball-playing centre-half,” Whitney explained. “He’s had a good loan spell with Birmingham last season, so he’s got a Midlands connection.”

football league paper 4 feb bielik
The Football League Paper, 4 February 2018

As Whitney says, Bielik definitely had a good loan to Birmingham in the last campaign. He made 10 appearances for the Championship side, including a run of seven starts towards the end of the season and a man-of-the-match performance.

bielik motm
Krystian Bielik poses with his Man of the Match award after Birmingham’s disappointing defeat against Derby. (Picture source: Bielik’s personal Instagram account)

In a way, that makes it fairly disappointing that he could only go on loan to a League One side this time.

On the other hand, the Polish u19 international struggled with injuries at Arsenal this campaign. The centre-back only made four starts for the u23s between August and January.

The main goal at the moment has to be staying fit and putting a run of games together.

Once he does that, then Bielik can move onto playing at a higher level.

From that point of view, the loan to Walsall might be just what he needs.

In fact, Whitney admitted on Friday that Bielik would miss Walsall’s first game, as he’s still recovering from his latest ‘slight niggle’.

Hopefully he recovers quickly and enjoys a successful second half of the season.