This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Brom manager Slaven Bilic is looking to stamp his own mark on his squad with Arsenal midfielder Krystian Bielik the latest name to be linked with a move to the Hawthorns, according to a report in The Telegraph.
Bielik is a current Poland U-21 international who has been at the Gunners since 2015 and though yet to make a first team start, has spent time out on loan at Birmingham City, Walsall and Charlton Athletic.
The midfielder who can operate as a centre-back as well, flourished for Lee Bowyer’s Charlton last season, making 34 appearances as the Addicks clinched promotion to the Championship via a play-off final win over Sunderland.
So, would Bielik be a good signing for the Baggies?
“Yes, Bielik would be a good asset to the Baggies squad if they can bring him in.
“The 21-year-old is a versatile player who would provide Bilic with an option in both central defence and defensive midfield–having shown himself capable in both positions for Charlton Athletic last season.
“With Craig Dawson having left for Watford this summer, the Baggies could use some reinforcements in central defence and Bielik would be an excellent addition.
“The Polish under-21 international played the majority of his football in defensive midfield for Charlton and would provide Bilic with some depth, given is Jake Livermore his only real option.
“Arsenal are reportedly keen to shift Bielik permanently if he does not extend his contract in the club and the 21-year-old could be a signing that pays dividends for years to come for the Baggies.”
“Bielik could be a great signing for West Brom but there is always a risk that he won’t adjust to the step up.
“He will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders and it is a big jump to go from playing in League One to the top of the Championship, and he will need to be at the top of his game throughout the season, which is a big ask for a young player.
“The Baggies should really be targeting senior pros, players with a lot of experience given the departure of Craig Dawson, whilst Ahmed Hegazi could always leave.
“Bielik would provide a good partnership with Bartley, and he is good with the ball at his feet which Bilic will be a fan of. However, West Brom fans will rightly be concerned right now as it is very possible they could enter the season with just two centre-backs in the squad.”
“This’d be a really useful signing.
“Bielik can be utilised in midfield and defence, and judging by his displays for Charlton last season he’s adept in both positions, which would make him a really handy player to have in the Baggies squad.
“I feel the Baggies need an injection of fresh, youthful exuberance, particularly in the midfield area, and with Bielik being just 21, he has plenty of room to develop and mature as a footballer.
“Bielik is strong, excellent at breaking up play and his distribution is precise, he has all the attributes needed to adapt to the rigours and demands of the Championship.