BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Injuries meant he didn’t play a single game last season, but Krystian Bielik is glad he can now put that behind him and start playing first-team football again.
The 20-year-old Polish defender, who can also operate as a midfielder, spent the second-half of the last campaign on loan at Walsall but knee and hamstring issues meant he was unable to make any appearances for the Saddlers.
Now the Arsenal apprentice is enjoying his spell with Charlton, having swapped north London for south in order to join up with Lee Bowyer’s side until next summer.
“The most important thing for me is playing games now,” explained the 6ft 2 former Legia Warsaw man, who also spent a spell on loan with Championship outfit Birmingham City two years ago.
“Getting games under my belt. Last season was very tough for me with injuries, no games. It’s a great challenge for me and a great experience to play every game for Charlton.
“I was at Birmingham two seasons ago and before I came to Arsenal I was with Legia Warsaw in the first team. When I came to Arsenal I started to miss first team football a bit. Then when I went to Birmingham I played some games and I felt it’s my level, I can play this level.
“I had injuries last season, then came back to Arsenal in pre-season and started games for the u23s again. Every day I was missing first-team football. I think it’s most important for me to play men’s football. I’ve come back and I’m doing well.
“I heard about the situation here with so many injuries, good players injured as well. It’s a big challenge for me. They’re coming back after injuries and I have to be ready to fight in training for my place. I will do my best. I know I’m not a special one because I’m from Arsenal. I’m going to do my best in every single training and the games. I’m doing my best every day.”
The likes of Francis Coquelin, Yaya Sanogo, Stephy Mavididi and Emmanuel Frimpong have all made a temporary switch from the Emirates Stadium to The Valley in recent years. Bielik hopes that his can be as successful as the former’s time in South London.
“I heard about Francis Coquelin when he was there,” he explained.
“Arsenal got him back in January and he didn’t think he was going to play there but he went back and played first team football for Arsenal. I’m not saying after this season I’m going back and I’ll start playing for the Arsenal first team. We’ll see. I’m looking forward and I’m positive. I’m going to do my best here and we’ll see. I’m very happy now here and I’m doing my best. I want to get more points with Charlton now.”