Krystian Bielik has opened the door for another loan move away from Arsenal next season after enjoying his first taste of regular first-team football with Birmingham City in the second-half of the 2016/17 campaign.
The 19-year-old Polish defender, who joined Arsenal from Legia Warsaw in 2015, had only played in the Gunners' reserve side thus far. He joined Birmingham on the final day of the January transfer window this year and went straight into the first-team under Gianfranco Zola.
Bielik established himself as the first choice centre-back under the former Chelsea midfielder and went onto make 10 appearances during his stay at St Andrews. Zola left the club three games prior to the end of the season and was replaced by Harry Redknapp, who relegated the Poland Under-21 international to the bench with the defender just playing 23 minutes in the final three games under the former Tottenham Hotspur manager.
Bielik joined Arsenal as a midfielder, but has been converted into a centre-back during his time with the youth teams. Arsene Wenger has hailed him as 'one for the future' and the defender is keen to prove his quality by going on loan next season and coming back ready to fight for a place in the first-team the following campaign.
"In the back of my head I was hoping that Wenger will trust me. I have been fighting for that trust for three years. It's tough, but I heard from the boss that he has never seen a centre-back as technically-gifted as me," Bielik said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"I still lack experience. It is no secret that it would be nice to play a bit more in the Championship. I know that I have convinced the clubs here. I've also heard about the Bundesliga, but most importantly I want to play as many games as possible next season.
"If that happens, I'll come back ready to compete for a place in the team," the Polish defender added.