Krystian Bielik will not make his debut this season, says Arsene Wenger

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One of Arsenal's January transfer signings heard good things said about him this week, while the other found out that he was not going to get a chance to strut his stuff in front of a packed Emirates Stadium crowd at all this season.

Gabriel's full Premier League debut on Sunday turned out to be a promising start to his Gunners career, after a wobbly start anyway. He was signed in an £11.2million deal from Villareal in January, the only signing other than young midfielder Krystian Bielik.

The 17-year-old arrived from Legia Warsaw in his native Poland for a reported £2million and there had been some suggestion that he was so impressive in training that he could possibly make a mark on the first team before the season is over.

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However, this now looks unlikely following comments from Arsene Wenger in his press conference ahead of Wednesday night's trip to QPR. Bielik was brought up because he caught the eye making his debut for the Arsenal Under-18s on Saturday, and Wenger was not hopeful of his first team opportunities.

"I have taken him in January more for next season, because to give a boy of 17 years old time to adapt to a competitive environment is needed. A debut this season? I don’t think that will happen," he told reporters.

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Meanwhile, Gabriel was handed his first start in the victory over Everton that took the Gunners to within four points of second place Manchester City and, after a shaky start, did rather well against Romelu Lukaku.

In this same press conference Wenger said he bought the Brazilian to play regularly in the starting XI and this is surely what must happen between now and the end of the season if Arsenal are to finish as high in the Premier League table as they can.

Change Must Be Permanent

Per Mertesacker made way for the 24-year-old new boy and the pairing of Gabriel with Laurent Koscielny looked very robust. Arsenal's French coach was full of praise for the German, but his comments regarding tiredness were pertinent.

Mertesacker has barely had a rest since returning from Germany's World Cup triumph and it caught up with him in the loss to As Monaco last week. An awful display cost his team at least one, possibly two, of the three goals conceded.

Gabriel's showing at the weekend was proof that Mertesacker should probably be spending a lot more time on the substitutes bench in the remaining matches.


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Arsene Wenger

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