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Bielik - The defenders I look up to

Krystian Bielik has only been playing at centre back since last season, but he has already made a name for himself as one of our academy's most exciting defenders.

The Poland Under-18 international joined from Legia Warsaw as a holding midfielder in January 2015 but has gone on to make two EFL Cup appearances in the heart of our defence.

“I feel stronger and better at centre back,” Bielik told Arsenal Player. “It’s good that we can train with the first team because we can learn from the best like Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi. I’m doing well and still making progress. I’m working hard and hopefully in the future I’ll be a good centre back.

"You can see the respect they have for each other in their relationship with other players"

Krystian Bielik

“I think Laurent and Shkodran are two of the best players in the league and in the world too, but I also learn from other players. When I watch Real Madrid for example, my favourite centre back is Sergio Ramos. I think he has everything a centre back needs. He’s really good in the air and really good with the ball.”

In addition to the change in role, Bielik’s appointment as our under-19s and under-23s captain this season has also seen him look to more experienced players to develop his leadership skills.

“I’ve never been a captain or a leader in our teams before, but I try to help players in the dressing room, on the pitch and in training,” he said. “I try to push them forward. For me as captain, at centre back I’m able to see everything that happens in front of me. This makes me feel more confident because I know I have to help my team.

“I learnt how to be one of the best centre backs in the world from Per and Laurent, but I’ve also learnt what kind of captains they are. They are confident on the pitch, strong characters and when I see players talking to them, they want to listen to them. You can see the respect they have for each other in their relationship with other players.”

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