LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04:  Krystian Bielik of Arsenal battles with Lukas Nmecha of Man City during the FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on April 4, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsenal Loan Update: How This Defensive Midfielder Is Turning Into A Beast At Birmingham City Under Zola

Birmingham City might be loitering aimlessly in the doldrums of the Championship table, but Premier League outfit Arsenal are keeping a watchful eye on the progress of their youngster Krystian Bielik. The Gunners’ youngster was sent on loan in the January window to the St. Andrew’s outfit, who are currently 18th ranked with 45 points from 38 league outings and he has started to make a mark for himself under the tutelage of Gianfranco Zola.

Placed on the right-hand side of the three-man defensive wall of Zola, Bielik was a central figure in Birmingham City’s goalless stalemate against the table-toppers Newcastle United on Saturday alongside Ryan Shotton and Paul Robinson. The Blues really looked solid against the attacking arsenal of Rafael Benitez’s men, and a major chunk of the credits must be accredited to the resilient presence of the 19-year-old.

In the month of January 2015, the North London outfit had signed Bielik from Polish outfit Legia Warsaw but Bielik wasn’t handed a start in the Premier League by Arsene Wenger and quite rightly so. Arsenal, despite their perennially miserable state of defensive setup, does boast of possessing a plethora of world-class household names in the game. Bielik needs to prove his mettle before eyeing a spot in Arsenal’s starting line-up and it is indeed quite relishing seeing him doing the needful.

Birmingham City have suffered owing to the inability of their defenders to play the ball out from the backline but apparently, Bielik seems to have solved the conundrum as he provided a solid platform from the back. The versatile starlet’s tall, strong and athletic figure gives him a cutting edge to destroy the attacking endeavours of the opponents with relative ease. Another advantage for the Polish youngster is that he can ply his trade at the back as well as a holding midfielder.


Despite his tender age, Bielik looked assured on the ball, particularly in his outing against the Toons and made a lot of surging runs forward to aid the midfielders who were further forward and was barely seen getting caught out of possession. In 4 Championship games, he has been handed so far, he has registered 1.5 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5.8 interceptions and 1.8 blocks per game.

Bielik is slowly but surely taking baby steps towards the creation of something spectacular, for his technically apt and impressive strides are finally turning a lot of attention towards his growth. He is acclimatising himself with the English football and in a scenario where Arsenal would be keen to vouch for someone from their own ranks to be a long-term solution to their defensive woes. Bielik can certainly come of great help.

Statistics Credits: WhoScored

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