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Arteta could unearth “surprise” package as Arsenal close in on “untouchable” 6ft2 ace – opinion

Arsenal are set to confirm the signing of centre-back Jakub Kiwior in the next 24 hours.

What’s the latest?

That’s according to Simon Collings, with the journalist revealing in his latest article for the Evening Standard that, after Edu reached an agreement with Serie A side Spezia Calcio regarding a £21m deal for the 22-year-old, the defender is now expected to complete his move from Italy to England within the next day – upon completion of a medical with the Gunners.

The reporter went on to state that the signing of a left-footed centre-back has been a priority for Mikel Arteta in order to provide Gabriel Magalhaes with both backup and competition for his starting role in the heart of the Arsenal defence, with the Poland international who Collings dubbed ‘tall, strong and good on the ball’ appearing to suit the Spanish manager’s needs perfectly.

A “surprise” package

Considering just how impressive Kiwior has been in Italy so far this season, it is not difficult to understand why Arteta is interested in a deal to add the 6 foot 2 talent to his current centre-back options at The Emirates this winter.

Indeed, over his 17 Serie A appearances in the current campaign, the £18.5m-rated talent has been a rock in Spezia’s backline, making an average of 1.4 interceptions, 1.3 tackles, 4.0 clearances and winning 3.2 duels – at a success rate of 51% – per game.

The £22k-per-week youngster also impresses in possession of the ball, having created one big chance for his teammates, in addition to enjoying an average of 57.7 touches, playing 3.3 long balls and completing 37.4 total passes – at a success rate of 85% – per match.

These returns have seen the 22-year-old – who Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig claimed has been a “surprise” package in Italy and journalist Fabrizo Romano dubbed “untouchable” – average an extremely impressive Sofascore statistical rating of 6.83, currently ranking the Pole as Spezia’s joint sixth-best performer in the top flight of Italian football.

Rather unsurprisingly, these performances have seen the centre-back come in for a considerable amount of praise, with Robert Lewandowski labelling Kiwior an “extraordinary” talent, while Poland manager Czesław Michniewicz also stated of the youngster last year (via TEAMtalk):

“His calmness is striking, he receives the ball, he has good technique, good passing. He is taught how to play defence in Italy. Kiwior came as an unknown player, and with his attitude against the Netherlands, he showed today that he can be the one we have been looking for for years. He has a left foot, a lot of calm in the game, smart positioning and great technique.”

As such, much like Michniewicz for Poland, considering just how well-suited Kiwior very much looks to be for Arteta’s particular set-up in north London, the 22-year-old could very easily also be the one Arsenal have ‘been looking for for years’ – something that would undoubtedly come as a very pleasant surprise to the 40-year-old coach and his side.

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