Krystian Bielik will return to Arsenal for pre-season after the u21 European Championships, with his future still undecided at this stage.
After Bielik’s successful loan to Charlton Athletic this season ended with a man-of-the-match performance in the playoff final to confirm their promotion, there was some talk that the centre-back might extend his stay for another season.
It seems like the defender has been around for ages, having joined in early 2015, but he’s still just 21 years old. This was the first season in a while he’s managed to (mostly) stay fit, so another loan to the Championship wouldn’t be the strangest idea.
However, Charlton head of recruitment Steve Gallen says the defender is going to return to Arsenal and try to prove he deserves a first-team chance in pre-season.
“We’ll look at the loans a little bit later, not so many clubs will be keen on loaning a player out today or tomorrow,” Gallen said (via Football.London).
“Players like Josh (Cullen) and Krystian (Bielik) will go back to their clubs for pre-season and be looking to convince their managers that they should be in their first team squads.”
Bielik won’t be involved in pre-season right away, as the timing of the u21 European Championships means he’ll still be on holiday when Arsenal start their tour. He’ll be hoping for a chance when he does return though.
Gallen went on to hint that Charlton have already started conversations with clubs they’ve taken players on loan from previously, possibly suggesting more Arsenal youngsters could head their way this summer.
“We’ve had conversations with some of the clubs we’ve worked with before to try and tee up maybe one or two potential loans but that will be later in July, to be honest,” the Charlton chief said.
There are plenty of top prospects in the Arsenal academy for Charlton to take a look at, but I’d personally recommend a move for Eddie Nketiah, which could be beneficial for all parties involved.
Nketiah needs regular football, and the Championship would be a great place to get it. Arsenal haven’t been able to give him enough chances, so they should be looking to loan him.
Meanwhile, Charlton would be getting a pacy striker who is always involved in the goals and who can also play on the wing if necessary. That sounds like a win for everyone involved to me.