Arsenal identify Polish prospect Krystian Bielik as January target
Arsenal, 33/1 chances to win the Champions League with Coral this season, are mulling over a winter window move for 16-year-old Legia Warsaw sensation Krystian Bielik, according to tabloid reports.
This teenage talent, who stands at 6ft 2ins, represents a cheaper alternative to compatriot and another Gunners target Grzegorz Krychowiak, who has a reported release clause of £24m in his contract with Sevilla.
Bielik, meanwhile, has played just four games for Legia, and completed 90 minutes once. He is yet to even make his senior European debut, but has been on the Warsaw bench in the Europa League a few times.
Fans of north London club Arsenal could be forgiven for expressing consternation at this news, as the defensive midfield area is widely perceived to be one of their problem positions. Throwing in a youngster, who is still yet to complete his development and growth, does look to be a major risk.
Needs must for Arsene Wenger, however, with Gunners club captain Mikel Arteta currently sidelined by injury. That just leaves Mathieu Flamini, who is out of contract this coming summer, fit and available for this berth at the Emirates.
Poland Under-17 international Bielik was born in 1998, but would join compatriot Wojciech Szczesny at Arsenal if their interest turns into a concrete bid. Wenger is hopeful his scouting network have unearthed a rough diamond here.
Other options the Gunners have been linked with turning to include Aston Villa and England midfielder Fabian Delph, who is currently injured. In previous transfer windows, meanwhile, the likes of the Bender brothers (Lars and Sven from Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund respectively) and William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon) have also been mentioned in connection with Arsenal.
Wenger’s side are holders of the FA Cup, and now face a repeat of last season’s final against Hull City in the third round this term. The Gunners are 15/2 chances to retain that trophy.