Considering the amount of problems we have keeping defenders fit, and their performances when the are fit, it seems a bit strange that the Gunners let our most promising young defender from the academy leave this summer. Ktystian Bielik had had a great year out on loan at Charlton last season and was in demand from many clubs, especially after an more impressive performances at the Under 21’s European Championship with Poland.
Bielik made it clear that he didn’t want to leave, but Emery decided he had better defensive options. As Bielik himself told Sport Poland (as translated in the DerbyTelegraph): “I was hoping that I would get a chance under (Arsenal boss) Unai Emery but it turned out that he couldn’t see me in his plans.
“At the Euros, I wanted to show myself well and hoped that I was watched by the club and I could do a lot with good performances. Then, before the Championships, Milan’s offer appeared, but ultimately nothing came of it.
“I don’t want to say it’s a shame now. I love Arsenal and playing for this club was my dream. However, it was necessary to stray from this path. I came to the club from the Championship, where I will play and gain experience.
“I think that after the next season, if I play regularly, I will be ready for the Premier League.
“I didn’t expect to cost so much,” he added. “Some say that this amount should be even greater but I never thought that I could be worth so much.
“I played a nice season in League One (on loan at Charlton Athletic) and a good European championship.
“There were several interested clubs from the Championship but only Derby had a budget that allowed me to be bought from Arsenal.”
Considering his age and promise, the reported sale price of 7m to 10m could easily be seen as a bad sale by Arsenal when we are crying out for top class defenders. We could easily have given him a new contract and loaned him out for this season to see if he improved even further. He could easily be worth 5 times that price in a few years, but more importantly, we could have had a top class player in an important position on the books.
Were Arsenal wrong to sell the 20 year-old?