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14/08/2019 - 16:28 BST

I See Harry Maguire In Him – Gianfranco Zola On Derby County New Boy

 




Gianfranco Zola has compared Derby County new boy Krystian Bielik to Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and stressed the calmness the defender possesses.

Derby paid out a fee of around £10m to sign the centre-back from Arsenal during the just concluded summer Premier League transfer window.  


 



Bielik joined Arsenal from Legia Warsaw in 2015 when he was only a teenager and made just two senior appearances for the Gunners before leaving the club earlier this month on a permanent deal.

He had various loan spells across the Football League and caught the eye of Zola when he managed the defender at Birmingham City for a short spell.
 


The former Blues boss feels that he has a little bit of Maguire in him as he is also, like Manchester United new boy, a defender who is very comfortable on the ball.
 



Bielik’s unflustered attitude also caught the eye of Zola, who admits that the defender looked very calm despite being surrounded by some experienced players at Birmingham.

“In a way, a very small way, he is similar to Harry Maguire”, the Italian told The Athletic.
 


“He’s very progressive with the ball, he’s not afraid of bringing the ball forward and making a pass.”

“What impressed me most was his personality", said Zola.

“When he came to us there were a lot of experienced players around him and he didn’t seem fazed at all.

“He just played football.”


While he remains a highly rated young defender, Bielik has only made 46 senior appearances in league games over the last five years.

Derby will hope that the record fee they paid for him will be worth it in the next few years.