Krystian Bielik explains what a ‘great experience’ it is for him to go to Charlton and start matches consistently, after his struggles with injury and getting into the Arsenal first-team.
Bielik has made an impressive start to his loan spell with the League One club this season, topped off with a winning goal against Southend United over the weekend. Speaking about his experience with Charlton so far, the 20-year-old emphasised just how much it means to him to play regularly.
“The most important thing for me is playing games now,” he said. “Last season was very tough for me with injuries, no games. It’s a great challenge for me and a great experience to play every game for Charlton.
“I was at Birmingham two seasons ago and before I came to Arsenal I was with Legia Warsaw in the first team. When I came to Arsenal I started to miss first team football a bit.
“I had injuries last season, then came back to Arsenal in pre-season and started games for the u23s again. Every day I was missing first-team football. I think it’s most important for me to play men’s football. I’ve come back and I’m doing well.”
Following in Coquelin’s footsteps?
Bielik is far from the first Arsenal youngster to go on loan to Charlton. Stephy Mavididi, Emmanuel Frimpong and Yaya Sanogo spent time there, but perhaps most relevantly Francis Coquelin did as well. Bielik is playing in the same position as Coquelin right now, and hopes to follow the same path to the Arsenal first-team, if possible.
“I heard about Francis Coquelin when he was there,” Bielik explained. “Arsenal got him back in January and he didn’t think he was going to play there but he went back and played first team football for Arsenal.
“I’m not saying after this season I’m going back and I’ll start playing for the Arsenal first team. We’ll see. I’m looking forward and I’m positive. I’m going to do my best here and we’ll see.”
If Bielik can come back with a strong season under his belt, it would definitely help his parent club out. Assuming the Polish u21 international stays in the defensive midfield position, Arsenal could lock down that spot for the summer and focus on other areas of the pitch.
Let’s hope he can stay injury free and in the team for as long as possible.