Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has praised 18-year-old Krystian Bielik after his impressive and composed performance against Major League Soccer’s All-Stars on Thursday evening.
The Polish star played 45 minutes and despite making the only mistake of the game to lead to Didier Drogba’s goal, was an impressive performer all-round and showed the composure of an experienced defender, controlling the ball with his chest deep in his own half and willing to play the ball across the ground to his teammates – unusual traits for such a young defender.
However, having started his career as a defensive midfielder, Bielik is used to having the ball at his feet and is more than comfortable enough to spray passes around. Despite this, since joining the Gunners, he has been used at central defence alongside Julio Pleguezuelo in the under-21s and has looked more than comfortable.
Speaking to the media as reported by Sky Sports News, Wenger believes that the teenagers future is further back on the field and could break into the first-team this season.
“Bielek has all the qualities and ingredients to be a top level centre-back.
“The one thing he is missing is the experience in this position because he came to us as a central midfielder, but I converted him into a centre-back because I felt he can play the type of football we want to play as a centre-back.
“Many times this is a position for experienced players because you pay for every mistake with a goal in this position, in the Premier League.
“What I have try to do with him this season is to work on his positional play and improve him, and give him some games. If in December, he is not ready, we will try and get him to play somewhere.”
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