Jakub Kiwior, a 22-year-old central defender from Poland, has joined Arsenal’s Premier League title bid from Serie A’s Spezia Calcio for more than 20m euros. This marks his second signing for the London club after Belgian winger Leandro Trossard. Kiwior had played 37 league games for Spezia since joining in the summer of 2021 and will provide competition for William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes in the heart of the defence.
Kiwior’s move from Anderlecht’s youth sides to central Slovakia in January 2019 proved to be a decisive move for his career. Four years ago, as a young defender in Anderlecht’s academy, he had not had a chance to play for the club’s first team before signing for FK Zeleziarne Podbrezova, a small team struggling in Slovakia’s top flight. Despite the team’s relegation, Michal Hanek, Podbrezova’s assistant coach at the time, believes the experience was valuable for Kiwior’s development.
“Jakub had all the requirements for senior football. He had good physical attributes, was great in duels, and as a young player he was already great thanks to his physical quality. He would already absorb big pressure. In important games, it was visible that he was mentally very solid.”