Unai Emery wanted to give Krystian Bielik a chance to prove himself with Arsenal, but the club agreed to sell to Derby and Bielik didn’t want to waste his opportunity to play.
There was a lot said about Krystian Bielik’s move to Derby County this summer, with claims that he was excluded from the club’s tour, that Unai Emery didn’t want him and he was being forced out of the club.
Thankfully, the player has come out to clarify what really happened to the Polish media.
Speaking to Przeglad Sportowy, Bielik admitted the only reason he initially didn’t go on tour was that he was on holiday, although he was indeed disappointed not to be invited to join the squad in the USA upon his return.
“I didn’t go on tour with my team because I had a three-week vacation after the tournament. I came back and nobody was at the club. I didn’t get the information that I should fly to the USA, so it was the first signal that I wasn’t in the club’s plans.”
Things changed when Arsenal returned to Europe. Unai Emery offered Bielik the chance to travel with the squad to Angers, where they had a pre-season friendly planned.
However, the club hierarchy informed the defender of a deal to sell later that day, and Bielik didn’t want to miss a guaranteed chance to go and play.
“I remember it was Monday and after training, coach Emery came up to me. He said he heard that I had a good previous season and would like to look at me.
“He offered me to fly with Arsenal for a pre-season match. But when I got a call on Monday evening that the club had a deal with Derby about the sale, I didn’t think twice. I didn’t want to risk it anymore.
“I know that if Arsene Wenger were still working at Arsenal, I would get a chance.”
In Wenger’s absence, Bielik evidently wasn’t quite so certain that his trip to Angers would result in a proper chance when the season got underway, so he decided to leave.
One aspect of Arsenal that Bielik only seems to be taking away positive memories about is the fans.
“Indeed, I got a lot of message from Arsenal fans,” Bielik continued. “They wrote that they wish me the best and consider the club’s decision to sell as wrong. They wished me good luck, some wrote that they hope Arsenal will buy me back for £30m in two years.
“It’s very nice. It is a pity that it happened that way, but apparently it had to be this way. I have to break through to the Premier League in a different way. This is my goal.”
Maybe one day the Polish u21 international really will end up back with Arsenal. For now, we wish him luck with Derby in their fight for promotion.