Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is planning to put new £2 million signing Krystian Bielik straight in his first-team squad, but has admitted that the deal is full of risks for the Gunners given his age and inexperience.
Bielik completed a medical at Arsenal's London Colney training ground on Friday and is just waiting for clearance to become Wenger's first January addition, but that won't come in time for Sunday's Premier League showdown.
The 17-year-old's huge potential has prompted Wenger to take the plunge on a Polish teenager, who he believes could prove a bargain if Arsenal can help him develop over the next few years.
January business in full flow at Arsenal
Wenger confirmed Bielik's arrival to the Telegraph yesterday, while outlining the starlet's attributes and the relative gamble he's once again decided to take on young talent coming through under his guidance at the Emirates Stadium.
He said: “He’s a defensive midfielder, 6ft 2ins, he has a good energy level and technical level. It’s a gamble but, on what we saw, it’s worth taking the gamble.
“It’s an awful lot of money for a player if he doesn’t succeed. If he does succeed then it’s cheap.”
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Arteta news prompted move
Arsenal likely had to move negotiations for Bielik with Legia Warsaw on quickly after learning how long their captain Mikel Arteta will spend on the sidelines following surgery on a bone spur on his ankle.
Arteta is expected to spend three months on the sidelines recovering, which leaves Arsenal painfully short of cover in a problem defensive midfield area.
Francis Coquelin has filled in over the last few weeks but Bielik could be the long-term solution to that issue. The youngster will definitely get his chance to shine at Arsenal with Wenger at the helm, but he's certainly not the proven world-class addition that Gunners fans are crying out for.
Arsenal supporters will hope Wenger opts for a far more experienced signing at centre-back, the position which has been their downfall during a very disappointing campaign to date.