Poland international Krystian Bielik’s career has been given a great opportunity following his permanent move to Birmingham City and their subsequent takeover at the hands of new investors Shelby Companies Limited, and minority partner Tom Brady.
The former New England Patriots quarterback has secured a small percentage of shares in City, who now have the chance to propel themselves back towards the Premier League after a decade in exile in the second tier.
Outside of the 2011/12 season when the club lost out in the playoffs at the hands of Blackpool, Birmingham have not come close to a return to the Premier League. The Blues have meandered in the bottom half of the Championship, but have managed to retain their status in the second tier.
John Eustace’s side still have a stronger price for relegation than promotion in the Championship football betting odds, so there is still work to be done on the field to preserve their place in the second tier. But the takeover has given hope for the future for a new lease of life at St Andrew’s, something which Bielik could also attest to.
Bielik will share the hope for an optimistic future as he looks to get his career on track. The midfielder was plucked by Arsenal from Legia Warsaw as a developing player but struggled to make the grade at the Gunners amid the fierce competition at the Emirates Stadium. He was sent out on loan to Birmingham in 2016, but only made ten appearances in the Championship. Bielik then missed the entire 2017/18 campaign due to injury, only to find his feet in the following season in League One with Charlton as he played an integral role in their playoff final win over Sunderland.
Derby County took the gamble on his breakout, paying £8 million to secure his signature on a permanent deal. However, his career at the Rams was marred by two ACL injuries. On his eventual return to action, he was powerless to stop Derby’s slide into League One amid financial penalties. Birmingham offered him a route back to the Championship, and Bielik returned to form for the Blues under Eustace, regaining his confidence after a difficult spell in his career. He also played in all four of Poland’s matches at the 2022 World Cup. At the age of 25, he is now entering a crux point in his career.
Bielik, like Birmingham, has the opportunity to build on the 2022/23 season. The Blues’ performance last term was unspectacular as it has been for the last ten years, but Eustace still manage to keep his team in the second tier, which was an achievement in itself. Birmingham now have the chance to build around talents like Bielik, who has the potential to become a lynchpin of the team. The Blues have been relying on experienced hands to steer them clear of trouble over the last few seasons, but the room for growth has not been there.
There are promising talents beginning to emerge out of the academy to edge the older players out of the line-up. With that and potential investment from Shelby Companies Limited and Brady, especially with the latter’s scope for global marketing using his brand, the Blues and Bielik could be on the right track. It is going to be a long road to even think about competing for promotion, but for once there is light at the end of the tunnel.