Arsenal loanee Krystian Bielik on having a point to prove and his conversation with Stephy Mavididi

Lee Bowyer could not hide his delight at bringing in Krystian Bielik and Charlton’s fourth signing of the summer is clear he has something to prove.

The versatile Pole joined Arsenal with a large reputation in 2015 just after his 17th birthday after shining as a 16-year-old playing for Legia Warsaw.

He progressed well and an impressive loan spell in the Championship with Birmingham City followed but last season injuries hit and humbled the likeable youngster.

Now he is more determined than ever: “Last year taught me the most because of the injuries, before the injuries I thought I was unstoppable. I thought I didn’t have to do a few things at the gym maybe and I wasn’t proper professional and these injuries taught me that I have to do even more than I expect to be a good player, to be fit. In football I’ve had big progress but I’ve had massive progress as a person.”

And he has chosen Charlton to prove himself, so people remember his name. Bielik, who can play in defence and midfield, had offers to play in top divisions abroad but for him it is about showing he can play in England.

He said: “We chose Charlton because my priority is playing in England. I want to show everyone I can play football because last season I played four games and some people have forgotten who Krystian Bielik is. It’s a good opportunity for me to play here because I know people are going to watch me and I’m under pressure. That’s what I like, I want to do my best.”

He can play, that’s something Addicks Head of Recruitment Steve Gallen was very clear on and something Bowyer liked about Bielik too, a reason the pair chased his signature for nearly a month. 

While he has something to prove Bielik isn’t lacking in confidence but what can Charlton fans expect from him? “They can expect good football. I like to play from the back and I’m here to help the team and help myself. I can say I will do my best, come and watch us, I’m not saying I’m going to play straight away but I’m going to do my best to play as soon as possible, to help the team and show my quality. I think I will be a positive player here for this club.”

Biding his time is something that worked for the former Polish U19 international when he was on loan at Birmingham, a period of his career he really enjoyed. He said: “It was amazing. We did the deal on the deadline day. That was the first time I played men’s football after moving from Legia Warsaw, because I was playing U23s mostly (at Arsenal). At Birmingham I sat on the bench for the first few games, then when I got my chance I did well and I was playing. I played 10 games and that was a great experience for me as a football (experience) and mentally as well. I’m ready, I know I can play first team football and I’m ready to play here.”

Bielik admitted he didn’t know a lot about Charlton but he did reference the club's proud history and spell in the Premier League. When walking out onto the pitch for the first time, you could see he was immediately impressed and surprised with the size of The Valley.

He said: “It’s a big stadium, a massive stadium, I didn’t know (how big the stadium was). It looks good and I’m looking forward to playing at this stadium and doing my best here.”

Bielik also checked in with Arsenal teammate and former Addicks loanee Stephy Mavididi before moving. He laughed: “I asked him what Charlton was like and he said,” the youngster paused with a smile on his face and asked “Have you met Stephy? He said ‘you know fam, it was fine, it was alright’. I said ‘Ok Stephy thankyou’.”

There will be a familiar face to welcome him to The Valley though in the form of the club’s Head of Medical Services Alastair Thrush. “I really like Alastair, I know he is the physio here. He used to work at Arsenal, so I’m looking forward to seeing him, he’s a lovely guy. I don’t really know much about the club but I’ve got one year to get to know more about the club. That’s going to be interesting for me and it’s going to be an interesting season.”

By the end of the interesting season the youngster hopes those who may have forgotten very much know who Krystian Bielik is. 

Charlton season tickets remain on sale. Adult tickets begin at just £200 and U11s are completely free in the Family Stand when bought alongside a full-paying adult, as has been the case for the last two seasons. To purchase your season ticket online, please click here.

For more information on season tickets and details about pricing, please click here.

Match tickets are available for upcoming games at The Valley including Tuesday's match against Peterborough United and next Saturday's visit of Fleetwood Town and can be purchased here.

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