When all Arsenal fans were clamouring for Arsene Wenger to buy a backup for Francis Coquelin, we were semi-relieved when we heard that Krystian Bielik had arrived from Legia Warsaw, where he was played as defensive midfielder for the senior side all last season, despite his tender years.
But now it has been revealed on Arsenal.com that Steve Gatting has been playing the Polish youngster as a centre-back For the Academy side in all this seasons games. Bielik seems to be enjoying it though. “The physicality was something new for me,” Bielik said. “I only started playing centre back this season and it’s the first time I’ve had to mark strikers who are running in behind.
“It’s also the first time that I’ve had to win headers. When I play in defensive midfield I don’t really have to run as much to mark players, so marking a striker at centre back is a lot more physical and has been a new experience for me.
“A lot of the time they ran behind me to go one-on-one with our goalkeeper, so that is definitely something that I need to improve on. We spoke a lot after the game and the coaches told me what I needed to do to improve and this has really helped me, and I think I really improved on that in the West Ham United game.
“It also really helps to have Julio Pleguzuelo playing alongside me because he controls our defensive line and tells me when to get up. He is a great leader and really helps me play well because of all the advice he gives me.”
It seems that the Polish youngster still has a lot to learnbefore he canbe used as a backup in any position. Oh well at least Wenger thinks he willbe good it a different position than we expected….