By Alex Taylor
Arsenal starlet Krystian Bielik has revealed Arsene Wenger wants to develop him into a centre-back.
The 18-year-old Pole caught the eye on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of America and could be called upon in the Premier League this season due to the team’s defensive crisis.
Wenger has revealed he is in the market for a centre-back after club captain Per Mertesacker was ruled out for five months with a knee injury.
Bielik can play a variety of positions and after arriving in January 2015 for £2.7m from Liga Warsaw.
He can play in central defence, at full-back and as a midfield enforcer but is now being moulded into a specialist roles.
“I just want to play for Arsenal,” Bielik told FourFourTwo. “It doesn’t matter where that would be – defensive midfielder, right-back. If Arsene wants me to be the centre-back, I will do everything I can to make him happy.”
“Arsene came to me (six months ago) and said ‘I see you as central defender, so I want you to start learning to play there’, so I started working on that right away.”
Bielik was given a place in the starting line-up against the MLS All-Stars and played well before following it up with a strong 45 minutes in another friendly against Chivas Guadalajara.
The Gunners academy star will be grateful of the first-team opportunities that he has been afforded in pre-season but will be aware that he is battling Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and makeshift centre-half Francis Coquelin for a starting place against Liverpool in just under two weeks time