According to a report in the Derbyshire Telegraph, Derby County want to bring in Arsenal’s Krystian Bielik.
The report claims the Rams want to add Bielik either on loan or in a permanent deal. Should it be the latter, the Poland U21 international could solve a long-term weakness at the club.
Derby have long had problems in the holding midfield role. George Thorne had so much promise for that position, but injuries have cruelly marred his time at Pride Park.
Derby have since had a succession of players fill in at holding midfield, but each with their flaws.
Joe Ledley, while solid, was on the wrong side of 30. Tom Huddlestone, while an excellent passer, is far too immobile and needs quick players around him out of possession.
George Evans came in last summer from Reading, but he arguably looks better at centre-back. Bradley Johnson, meanwhile, has departed the club this summer for Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers.
The options have been so limited for Derby, several different managers even tried more forward-thinking players such as Will Hughes, Jacob Butterfield and Craig Bryson without success.
Why Krystian Bielik could be a good fit for Derby County:
Bielik is a natural defensive midfielder, and he has the attributes to shine there. Standing at 1.89m, the 21-year-old is strong, good in the air and quick across the ground. He is an excellent passer, and positionally sound.
The Arsenal man was instrumental during Charlton Athletic’s promotion to the Championship last season. He started over 30 league games – earning the Man of the Match award during the club’s 2-1 playoff final win over Sunderland.
Derby have failed in their attempts at promotion by signing experienced Championship players at a premium. Manager Phillip Cocu’s arrival should continue the philosophy of implementing youth, and Bielik would no doubt fit into that.