Ahead of a League 1 campaign where they would be challenging for Championship promotion, Charlton Athletic signed Krystian Bielik on loan.
Defensive midfield was one area of the squad manager Lee Bowyer was keen to strengthen heading into this season, resulting in the 42-year-old feeling ecstatic once head of recruitment Steve Gallen had a deal wrapped up for the Arsenal man.
Also reconsigning that reinforcements were needed, Charlton supporters were delighted with the addition of Bielik, too.
Yes you beauty just need a couple more now and injured players back and we can kick on
— darrenhenderson9 (@DarrHenderson) August 16, 2018
Over the moon with Bielik. Lee Bower’s red and white army
— Dean Allen (@BakeBeano88) August 16, 2018
That’s a great signing! Really, really pleased with this! Hopefully another 2-3 to come
— Colin Peppiatt (@ColinPep1) August 16, 2018
Happy with this as long as hes used as a midfielder
— Andrew Wheaton (@ACAWheaton) August 16, 2018
Finally a good addition
— Ben (@classiccharlton) August 16, 2018
Bielik seems like a very solid signing. Happy with that #cafc
— Alex Rogans (@RogDog_CAFC) August 16, 2018
Hats off to Gallen and Bowyer, everyone we have brought in looks a good signing when you consider we have virtually no budget. Taylor, Pratley, Steer and now Bielik are all very good signings at this level who all could probably have got championship moves #cafc
— George Summerfield (@summerfield94) August 16, 2018
What arguably made the Arsenal loanee appeal most to Bowyer, though, was his versatility.
As well as in midfield, Bielik can also play in central defence, something his boss for the season highlighted following his arrival at The Valley.
“He is someone that can protect the back four. He’s good on the ball, strong and he’s someone that can fill in at centre-half as well,” Bowyer told Charlton’s official club website when speaking about his new signing last August.
“He’s a bit like Ez [Ezri Konsa], he can comfortably play in both positions. He’s obviously good on the ball, you don’t play for Arsenal unless you can play, so I know he’s going to be another great addition to the squad.
“I couldn’t tell you how many phone calls [Head of Recruitment] Steve Gallen made to Arsenal to try and get this one over the line!”
With the likes of Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira currently occupying the central midfield spots at Arsenal under Unai Emery, it remains to be seen whether Bielik will stay at the Emirates next season and if he has a future at the club.
But just focusing on the present, the 21-year-old will be pleased with how things are currently going in his young career.
He has developed well under Bowyer following a campaign that was ruined by injury, and now has the chance to help guide his side back to English football’s second division.
Charlton fans, what were your thoughts when Bielik initially signed? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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