Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer seems pleased to have got the signing of Krystian Bielik over the line, with the 20-year-old joining on loan earlier this week.
Bielik completed his third loan move in three seasons on Thursday, with a move to Charlton following previous temporary spells at Birmingham City and Walsall. He’ll certainly hope this season goes better than the time he spent at Walsall, where he didn’t make a single appearance thanks to a number of injury problems.
Bowyer certainly seems to think things will go better this time around, and explained to the media why he brought the Arsenal youngster to the club.
“Physically he is a big boy for his age – only 20 – but he has got all the attributes to be a great addition to our squad,” Bowyer said. “He went and played for Birmingham when he was 18 and has got experience of league football.
“I’m not just pinning him down for one position – it depends who we have available and the opposition. I don’t just have one formation. Before he went to Arsenal he played in front of the back four but Arsene Wenger turned him into a centre-back, because at Arsenal they want their defenders to be able to play.”
‘We’re really pleased to get him’
Charlton’s head of recruitment Steve Gallen revealed the club went through a bit of a battle to convince Bielik and Arsenal to turn down all other offers for his services.
“We have a good relationship with Arsenal,” he began. “Other clubs were in for him but I also think perseverance helped. Me and Lee kept persevering all the time with Arsenal. I think they got fed up with us in the end and said ‘Go and have him’, we’re really pleased to get him.
“What they recognise is the size of the club but also how we look after the players. Outside of the club and where they live and how we take care of their boys. I think with that and Lee Bowyer and obviously the size of the club is the reason we got Krystian.”
It’s always good to hear that the management at a player’s loan club really fought for him to join. Particularly after last season though, when so many of Arsenal’s loanees weren’t starters for their temporary clubs. The likes of Carl Jenkinson, Cohen Bramall, Takuma Asano and Emi Martinez hardly played a single game for months at a time.
Hopefully this season will be different for Bielik, and he’ll come back with a strong season under his belt.