(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Premier League leaders Arsenal have confirmed the signing of 22-year-old Poland international Jakub Kiwior from Spezia. The left-sided centre-back has signed a long-term deal with the Gunners, reportedly keeping him at the club until June 2028.
Kiwior had been a target for several top European clubs in recent weeks, with Spezia reportedly turning down an offer from German giants Borussia Dortmund, and Juventus also reportedly showing an interest. In the end, Mikel Arteta captured the Silesian giant with a bid reported to be in the region of €25 million. The six-foot-two defender was in the stands on Sunday as Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-2.
Kiwior initially played as a striker in a number of local teams, but worked his way back into defence whilst at his hometown club GKS Tychy. Before even making his debut there, he found his way to Belgian giants Anderlecht.
In Belgium, Kiwior won the Belgian Youth championship, and gained experience in the Youth Champions League; although with opportunities in the first team limited, he opted to make a surprise move to Slovakia to finally get a first taste of senior football.
Firstly at Železiarne Podbrezová, and then MŠK Žilina, Kuba found the first team football he was after. He also began to quickly attract interest from further afield. His transfer to Serie A side Spezia came as a surprise to many inside Poland who had not followed his under-the-radar development, but not from those in Slovakia.
Kiwior also steadily worked his way through Poland’s youth system, and has represented the Białe-Orły at every age group from U16 onwards. Having been selected by Czesław Michniewicz during his time as coach of the U21s, the coach then called upon Kiwior to be a part of the senior team’s UEFA Nations League squad in June 2022. While many had thought he would be there only to gain experience, Michniewicz put faith in the youngster to make his debut against Netherlands. Despite his inexperience, he quickly showed his capabilities and found himself as a regular starter ahead of the World Cup. Jakub went on to start in all four of Poland’s games in Qatar.
Kiwior will wear the number 15 shirt at the Emirates Stadium.