The reason Krystian Bielik will have to wait for Arsenal first-team start

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Krystian Bielik is unlikely to play this season.

Arsene Wenger confirmed in Tuesday’s press conference that Bielik is unlikely to play with the Gunners first-team this term following his January transfer from Legia Warsaw.

Under-18s football is on the cards for the defensive midfielder who was supposedly set to link up with the first-team squad upon his arrival from Poland. It was hinted that Bielik would be a key player in the defensive midfield position prior to the transfer, but his development has yet to pan out that way, and it appears he will have to wait until the next campaign to get his first taste of Premier League action.

Whilst disappointing, this should come as no surprise.

Bielik was playing for Legia Warsaw before transferring to North London, and, due to the winter break in Poland, the 17-year-old had not played competitive football since early December. Training had been at a minimum, and, for a player who only had 183 minutes to his name this term, it is no surprise that he was struggling for fitness as he moved to Arsenal.

It would take long enough to get up to speed for the Ekstraklasa - a league slower than the Premier League - and so preparing to make an impact at first-team level in one of Europe’s most energetic leagues is clearly a step too far.

It was a surprise to see Wenger hint at Bielik making his first-team debut this term when he arrived at the Emirates, as it gave false hope to both the players and the fans. However, the coach has made the right choice in holding off throwing him into professional action, knowing that he could suffer a serious injury whilst far from match fitness, potentially stalling the development of one of the most promising young midfielders in European football.

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