Not a man to shirk from going against the tide and pulling a wild surprise, Arsene Wenger is set to involve Krystian Bielik straight into the thick of the first team action, as soon as he signs on Sunday when Arsenal travel to Manchester City.
Only paperwork formalities remain for the 17-year old to complete a move after passing his medical on Friday and contrary to general opinion that he would be passed through the junior cadre before first team action will come later, Wenger feels his latest acquisition is good enough and will be in his big plans from the word go.
“He’s a defensive midfielder, 6ft 2ins, he has a good energy level and technical level. Also, it’s a gamble. But on what we saw, it’s worth taking” the Mirror quotes Wenger.
Now, the bold mention of his role as a defensive midfielder seems Wenger is telling everyone that he’s finally got what he’s been asked to get for ages and in that case, he will have to be involved immediately. What makes it even more necessary is the elongated absence of the team’s principal player in that role, Mikel Arteta, and Wenger is now holding Bielik up as the successor.
On whether the youngster will justify the price for which he was signed, Wenger did not say the unexpected, but appeared to bear an optimism that a mistake has not been made.
“It’s less than £2m. It’s an awful lot of money for a player if he doesn’t succeed. If he does succeed then it’s cheap. Yes [he will go into first team squad].”
Bielik’s involvement against City may not be entirely possible unless he has been registered before noon on Saturday so as to be able to play on Sunday. Then again, Wenger’s Match Day squad will probably have both Francis Coquelin and Mattieu Flamini in it, and there may not be space for the incoming teenager immediately. However, it is interesting to know that the manager plans to integrate him into the first team immediately, and by from all horizons, it does not look a bad move.
There are many 17 and 18-year olds in the Arsenal Academy who must be waiting to get their chance and if the club has gone out and paid £2m for a player of that same age, he has to be good enough to just be sent into the laboratory for further trials. And the word is that Bielik has the potential to succeed at the top level, not least amongst his proud referees, ex-Manchester United defender and Legia Warsaw manager, Henning Berg.
The player himself seems confident of his abilities and even had the modesty to say he wouldn’t hope to get into the first team fully before four or five years. Sorry lad, but you’re going in as soon as you arrive.
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