Rob Holding has shared a touching story about Arsenal teammate Jakub Kiwior.
A late Leandro Trossard equaliser saw the clash at Wembley Stadium head to a penalty shootout. Arsenal were able to prevail in the shootout, and as such Holding got his hands on the Community Shield for the third time in his career.
Holding, like Kiwior, didn’t feature in the game itself, but both players were named on the bench by Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal paid £20 million to sign Kiwior from Italian side Spezia in January 2023, and the Polish defender is yet to truly establish himself at the Emirates Stadium. To date, the 23-year-old has made just 9 appearances for the Gunners, 8 of which have come in the Premier League.
In the limited opportunities he has been given, Kiwior has impressed with his ability on the ball and his range of passing. He also managed to bag his first goal for the club in the final match of last season against Wolves.
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Kiwior will expect greater involvement in the first team as this season progresses. His ability to play at centre-back or left-back should see him rack up plenty of minutes across the two positions.
Holding’s story about Kiwior
However, the 13-cap Poland international is clearly still acclimatising to life in England. Speaking on the Timbsy YouTube channel, Holding has said that Kiwior is “really shy” and “doesn’t speak much English.”
As one of the senior members in the Arsenal squad, Holding sees it as part of his job to help the likes of Kiwior settle and feel included. The 27-year-old gave an example of how he went about this in the aftermath of the Community Shield win.
Holding explained that, “after winning the Community Shield I was speaking to Jakub…I said ‘have you had a picture with the trophy yet, with the fans behind?’…I said let’s get one and he was like ‘no, no, no’. I’ve won a few trophies now and when I look back on it I wish I had enjoyed it a lot more and put myself out there a bit…So I said, ‘believe me, let’s go get this photo you’ll appreciate it in a couple of years’. So he was like ‘okay.’ So we kneel down next to the trophy…and Martin noticed it as well, so he came over and got in the photo as well. So at least he has a photo with a trophy now because I don’t know if he’d have even picked it up and lifted it!”