Out of absolutely nowhere, news has emerged this afternoon that Arsenal are about to sign Spezia defender Jakub Kiwior on a permanent deal.

Fabrizio Romano revealed on Twitter just a few moments ago that the Gunners have signed the Polish centre-back for a ‘fee in excess of €20 million (£17.5m)’. Medicals are expected to take place this weekend.

But, who is Jakub Kiwior, what’s his style of play and is he a good signing for Arsenal?

Arsenal jakub kiwior
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Who is Jakub Kiwior, the ‘defensive soldier’ Arsenal are about to sign?

Jakub Kiwior is a 22-year-old central defender, who can also play as a left-back and in defensive midfield.

A product of the famous Anderlecht youth academy that has produced stars like Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, and the best of the lot, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Kiwior joined the Belgian giants when he was 16 from Polish side GKS Tychy.

After spells at Podbrezova and MSK Zilina, he got his big move to Italian side Spezia in August 2021, and he has been magnificent for them over the last 18 months.

Just like he did in Zilina, Kiwior played as a defensive midfielder for Spezia in his debut campaign. He played almost every minute of every game that term and was one of their best players.

The Pole was linked with a whole host of clubs last summer after his impressive campaign, but he stayed at Spezia to give himself a better chance of making it into the Polish World Cup squad.

He fulfilled that dream and played every game for Poland in Qatar, and it looks like he is now ready to make his move to a big club like Arsenal to fulfil his massive potential.

Arsenal jakub kiwior
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Style of play

Total Football Analysis have described Kiwior as a ‘defensive soldier’ in their scout report, and we couldn’t agree more.

He’s 6ft 2in tall and uses his frame brilliantly. He is a tough tackler and is very good in duels – no wonder Mikel Arteta has given the green light to sign him (when I lose a duel, I’m upset).

TFA further wrote in their report: “Kiwior has a good understanding of the game and understands the right defensive areas to prioritise, especially when the ball is in transition.”

That is an excellent trait for a young defender to have.

In possession, he has the ability to progress the ball forward well. Even though Spezia aren’t really a ball-playing team like Arsenal, he has shown his quality at times with his passing.

However, he does tend to panic under pressure, which isn’t ideal for the Premier League.

Arsenal jakub kiwior
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The Insider’s Verdict

Kiwior isn’t a world-beater yet, but he is a hugely talented player.

The Pole is still only 22 and has incredible potential. He is hugely versatile, having played as a central defender, at left back and also in defensive midfield, which makes him a manager’s dream.

At Arsenal, Kiwior can act as a backup to Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey – two areas where we have been short of options. He adds depth to our squad now, and under Arteta, we’re sure he’ll develop into a fine player in the coming years.

It will be interesting to see how many opportunities Kiwior will be given at Arsenal this season if Edu can get this deal over the line.

Arsenal jakub kiwior
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