Latest Birmingham City news from BirminghamLive includes Tony Mowbray on Krystian Bielik’s positional switch
Tony Mowbray wants to turn Krystian Bielik into Birmingham City’s John Stones by making his position flexible in and out of possession.
Poland international Bielik has started Blues’ last two matches at centre-back – a position he played at the beginning of his career but one he hadn’t played for three years. With Mowbray moving for midfielders in the shape of Andre Dozzell and Paik Seung-ho, Bielik has been shifted to defence to give Blues greater control when playing out from the back.
However, Bielik’s days in midfield aren’t over according to Mowbray. The manager could give Bielik the freedom to move into midfield when Blues are in possession, just as Stones did for Manchester City in their treble-winning 2022/23 season.
“Krystian is a good footballer, I think, and he can play in various positions,” Mowbray told BirminghamLive. “I’ve discussed with him, can he be like John Stones and start in the back-line and end up playing in the midfield?
“Many teams these days develop in a different shape than they defend. It’s probably due to (Pep) Guardiola’s philosophy that when you’re in possession, you play this shape, and when you’re not in possession, you play this shape. Modern football requires footballers who can play in one position when in possession and one position when out of possession. Krystian Bielik is one of those players who can do that.”
Mowbray has been pleased with Bielik’s performances at centre-back, but he may change things up against Leicester City to get a better look at others. Marc Roberts is back in form, while Emanuel Aiwu has yet to play, but Bielik has the shirt.
Mowbray added: “We’ve got Marc Roberts coming back, Dion (Sanderson), Kevin Longy, we’ve got options in that area. But at the moment, he (Bielik) hasn’t done anything, so I’m thinking, ‘Woah, he can’t play there. He’s doing well.
“Let’s see if we stick with that this week or try something else. I don’t see it as an issue. He’s composed, the correct size, and has a physical presence.