Who is Jakub Kiwior? Arsenal agree €25m+ deal for Spezia defender

Spezia defender Jakub Kiwior looks to be on his way out of Serie A as Premier League leaders Arsenal decide to make their move.

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It seems that Serie A‘s next export to the Premier League is going to be Spezia defender Jakub Kiwior who is expected to sign for Arsenal during the January transfer window.

Initially reported by Polish journalist Tomasz Włodarczyk for Meczyki, the reports were then confirmed by the likes of Gianluca Di Marzio and Nicolo Schira within Italy.

It is believed that the Premier League leaders will be paying a transfer fee of €25 million and there will also be some add-ons, making it a very lucrative deal for Spezia and making Kiwior one of the most expensive Polish players in history.

How good is Arsenal target Jakub Kiwior?

The 22-year-old defender has been linked with a move away from Spezia for many months now and for a while, it seemed that AC Milan would be his destination. They require more depth in defence but after deciding to keep Matteo Gabbia during the summer of 2022, any deal for Kiwior was put on ice.

He was also one of many defenders linked with Inter as Milan Skriniar’s contract situation continued to rumble on, as it still does. A move within Serie A seemed much more likely than a January move to the Premier League, let alone the league leaders.

One of Kiwior’s major selling points is his versatility. He can play as a centre-back on both the left and the right, and he has also played some minutes this season at left-back. As well as that, he is adept at stepping forward into the midfield to screen in front of the defence.

He is very consistent, playing 17 of Spezia’s 18 league games so far this season in Serie A and he is disciplined. Spezia absorb a lot of pressure every time they play, but he only had three yellow cards this season and has not been sent off once.

He only joined Spezia in the summer of 2021 for €2.2m, meaning the Ligurians are making a serious capital gain. He was very impressive in the World Cup for Poland in Qatar, which is likely what has led to Arsenal stumping up a lot of money for him.

What would Kiwior’s role at Arsenal be?

Arsenal are playing extremely well so far this season and have got the second-best defence in the Premier League. There is little reason to suggest that Gabriel and William Saliba will be immediately ousted by Kiwior.

That being said, he will be a very valuable depth option as the games continue to come thick and fast and the Europa League becomes a factor for the Gunners again. Mikel Arteta could get a lot of use out of a player who can play in three different positions and is very consistent.

How he adapts to the move remains to be seen, but he may quietly be a very smart signing by Arsenal.

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