Lee Bowyer thinks Krystian Bielik should remain with Charlton and keep learning for the rest of the season, even though he admits that the defender has a recall clause in his contract.
Arsenal sent Bielik on a season-long loan to Charlton at the start of the campaign. At the time, the move made a lot of sense, considering the 20-year-old was only getting into the u23 team in North London, and he didn’t seem to have any place in Unai Emery’s plans.
However, since then he’s had a strong first half of the season, and Arsenal have had a lot of problems with injuries to defenders. As a result, there’s some talk of a possible recall for the centre-back, and Charlton manager Lee Bowyer admitted the clause does exist.
“All the clubs now they have a clause in there that, if they want to call them back, they can,” Bowyer confirmed. “But, again, why would you call him back and play him in under-23s football when he can be out there playing against men and learning? Because that’s what he’s doing.
“I’d like to think they’d give us a bit of warning if that were the case, but no, I’m confident that all the loanees are probably staying.”
For the time being, Bielik is putting a good run of games together in the Charlton side. He’s featured in 10 consecutive league games since his injury in September, and he’s played 90 minutes in five of the last seven.
The defender’s preferred position is at centre-back, but Bowyer is using him at defensive midfield, which he argues is better for Bielik’s development.
“Playing centre-half I think is too easy for him,” Bowyer explained. “I think he reads the game very well, he’s very, very comfortable in possession, but he gives so much more – I think – playing in front of the back four because of his physicality and protection, you know?
“He’s doing that side and plays so, for me, I like him sitting in front of the back four. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great centre-half as well, so why not improve? Why not be a great centre-half and be a great midfielder?”
It’s difficult to say whether Bielik really would get a run in the team if he returns in January. Perhaps it’s better to let him stay at Charlton for now, as he has many years of senior football ahead of him. We’ll see what Arsenal decide next month.