Krystian Bielik made his first start for loan side Charlton Athletic on Saturday, starting in a back three against Accrington Stanley, but was seemingly forced off with injury near the end.
Charlton managed a 1-1 draw in their 3pm kick off, but the concern was that it might end up being the same old story again for Bielik, who ended up spending most of last season on the sidelines with injury.
Fortunately, manager Lee Bowyer confirmed afterwards that it wasn’t anything serious that forced the defender off.
“He (Bielik) got a bit of cramp at the end and will be OK for Tuesday’s game,” Bowyer told the Charlton website.
As for the Arsenal loanee’s performance overall, the Charlton boss thought it was good enough, but still with some room for improvement as Bielik adjusts to life in League One.
“I thought he did okay for his first game. He got a bit tired towards the end, but he’s only a kid. He’s 20 years old and that’s obviously his first game, so it’s obviously different to playing regular U23s football.”
That’s the reason Arsenal players go out on loan to lower league clubs, after all. If playing in the u23s was adequate preparation for first team football on its own, there’d be no need for anyone to leave the club on a temporary basis.
Hopefully Bielik recovers in time for Tuesday, and gets a run of games going in the Charlton side. It’s certainly positive to see him thrown into the action from the off, starting Saturday’s match just two days after signing for the club. He just needs to keep the momentum going.