Arsenal defender Krystian Bielik feels that he can no longer play for the Arsenal reserves and needs to be playing regular first-team football either with the Gunners or on loan in England or abroad — he wants to leave on loan again next season.
Arsene Wenger rates the defender highly and included him in Arsenal's pre-season tour to Australia and China before the start of the current campaign. Bielik featured regularly in the games during the tour and was expected to leave on loan in the summer.
However, a shoulder injury that required surgery put paid to any chance he had of joining a club in the Championship. There was interest from a number of clubs in the Poland Under-21 defender, but his injury saw them look at other options.
Bielik returned to fitness in the New Year and secured a loan move to Walsall in League One until the end of the campaign. It is a step down for the Polish defender after impressing in the Championship with Birmingham City last season.
The 20-year-old is keen to continue his development and has revealed that his preference will be to return to St Andrews next season as he is familiar with the surroundings, but is open to joining any club in the second division or in another league in order to play regular first-team football.
"In the Arsenal youth team I have long felt that I have reached a level and will not go higher," Bielik told Przeglad Sportowy, as quoted by the London Evening Standard. I have to play in the first team - regardless of [whether it is] League One, the Premier League or the Dutch league."
"There was interest from several clubs, but the injury closed many doors. I wanted to play in a first team in England. I would go to the Championship but, because of the injury, the clubs did not want to risk me.
"The next day [after the injury] I learned that I am leaving for a loan, I could choose between two major clubs from the Championship — Norwich or Nottingham. Well, I could not, because it turned out that the shoulder had to be operated," he explained.
"I got to League One and I'm glad that we managed to find a club in the senior football program by the end of the season. People think what they want. This league is as hard as the Championship.
"I want to play in the Championship. I'd love to go back to Birmingham. I would feel best there. I would not need acclimatisation. I know the club, players, coaching staff," Bielik added.