Arsenal ace claims shoulder injury scuppered chances of a Norwich City move
PUBLISHED: 08:52 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:24 12 February 2018
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Polish youth international Krystian Bielik insists the Canaries were ready to offer him a loan exit from Arsenal in last month’s January transfer window.
The 20-year-old central defender, who can also operate as a holding midfielder, revealed City and Championship rivals Nottingham Forest had made enquiries to the Gunners but a long-standing shoulder problem that required surgery ended his chances of a move.
Bielek, who was heavily linked to Norwich last summer after a previous loan stint at Birmingham, has now joined League One Walsall until the end of the current season.
The 6ft 3in defender joined Arsenal in 2015 from Legia Warsaw in a reported £2.4m deal but is out of contract this coming summer, and speaking to Polish media in recent days, hinted he expects to move on after failing to make the grade at the Emirates.
“There was interest from several clubs, but the injury closed many doors,” he said. “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.
“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.”
City did recruit Marcus Edwards on loan from Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham, along with four other signings in a hectic month.