Arsenal have completed the signing of Poland defender Jakub Kiwior from Spezia in a deal worth £20m; the 22-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half deal with the option of a further year; Kiwior is the Gunners' second signing this January after the £27m arrival of Leandro Trossard
Monday 23 January 2023 19:50, UK
Arsenal have completed the signing of Poland defender Jakub Kiwior from Spezia in a deal worth £20m.
The 22-year-old, who has signed a four-and-a-half deal with the option of a further year at the Emirates Stadium, becomes the Premier League leaders' second signing this January after the arrival of Leandro Trossard from Brighton for £27m.
On completing his move to north London, Kiwior said: "When I saw my name on an Arsenal shirt for the first time, I just laughed! I was so happy to see my name on the shirt of such a huge club. For me, it's an incredibly happy moment and the pinnacle to play for such a big club.
"I've always dreamt of playing in the Premier League. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and if I got the chance, then I knew I'd have to make the most of it because it was one of my biggest dreams. For me, it's the best league. I'm thrilled to be here.
"It's huge for me that Arsenal were interested and that I'm able to be here. I'm aware that Arsenal are a massive club in a top league, so I didn't really have to think about much else. I was just ecstatic and really wanted to come.
"I love passing the ball. I like teams that move the ball and try to create chances that way. So, I'm happy that I've come to a team like that."
Kiwior has been capped nine times by Poland and started all four of their games at the World Cup in Qatar.
Arsenal were looking for a left-sided central defender, with Kiwior expected to provide competition for Gabriel.
Gunners sporting director Edu said: "We're delighted to have completed the signing of Jakub Kiwior. He's a young talent who we've been monitoring for a while now. We are now all looking forward to working with Jakub and seeing his continued development with us. We welcome Jakub to Arsenal."
Manager Mikel Arteta added: "It's great that Jakub is joining us. He's a young versatile defender who has shown huge potential and qualities with Spezia in Serie A, and also at international level with Poland.
Jakub Kiwior is gold dust because he’s a left-sided central defender. A lot of clubs in world football are after a player in that position.
"Jakub is a player who will give us strength and quality to our defensive unit. We welcome Jakub and his family to Arsenal and look forward to working with him."
Kiwior was present at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal's 3-2 victory over Manchester United on Super Sunday, even though his arrival at the club was not yet announced.
Sky Sports News' chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"Arsenal have had a very good transfer window.
"They've bought in exactly what Mikel Arteta has asked for and it is always a good sign, when you feel a deal is not right, to walk away from it. I believe that is what happened as far as the deal for Mykhailo Mudryk was concerned.
"There were two clubs interested in signing Mudryk and that was Arsenal and Chelsea, and Arsenal weren't willing to structure a deal and pay exactly what Shakhtar wanted on the Friday. The next day Chelsea agreed to pay and structure the deal exactly as the Ukrainian club wanted.
"Arsenal didn't lick their wounds. A couple of days later they moved onto one of their other targets and they signed Leandro Trossard. They saved a lot of money that would have been spent on Mudryk, and that money can go towards signing somebody like Declan Rice in the summer as well.
"If you speak to Arsenal fans, yes, Mudryk may be one that got away, but I don't think missing out on him will define Arsenal's season."
Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm in England and midnight in Scotland on Tuesday January 31, 2023.
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.