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Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners set to sign Serie A defender

Arsenal add young defensive depth from Spezia

Spezia Calcio v Bologna FC - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

File this one in the “out of nowhere” cabinet. While Arsenal fans had only just learned that they were signing Leandro Trossard from Brighton, Edu and Arteta were hard at work with another transfer behind the scenes, with Fabrizio Romano reporting on Friday morning that Arsenal have secured the signing of Polish centerback Jakub Kiwior from Serie A side Spezia.

It’s safe to say that nobody saw this one coming. In an age where nearly no signing is ever truly a secret, this one genuinely caught us all by surprise, much like the signing of Fabio Vieira in the summer window.

I also won’t claim to have a dearth of knowledge about the Polish defender. A quick search shows that he is proficient at intercepting and and blocking but less so at passing, but that is also perhaps reflective of the role he was tasked with and the level of play in Serie A. But the last time we made a gamble with a Seria A centerback, we landed Takehiro Tomiyasu, so there’s that.

At 22, he falls within the scope of Arteta’s project and profiles as depth at LCB behind Gabriel. This does, though, raise questions as to what Arsenal’s plans are for the summer. It’s more or less a given that Pablo Mari’s time at Arsenal is over, but it could be Rob Holding that makes way for young talent. Holding’s playing time this season has been sparse at best, and at 27, he still has plenty of years left in him to play top flight football that he probably doesn’t want to spend on the bench.

The most interesting aspect of Kiwior is that he has featured at CDM more than CB this season. Whether or not that has been out of necessity or how he projects, but it is food for thought as Arsenal continue to be in need of depth behind Thomas Partey. With sights set on a move for Declan Rice in the summer, it wouldn’t make terrible sense to splash major cash on a CDM this window. Perhaps this is part of the solution in the interim, although his skills are not at all analogous with the Ghanaian midfielder.

Regardless, this seems like another shrewd bit of business for the future by Arsenal. The landscape of the transfer world keeps shifting toward pricier and pricier deals, so a promising young CB for a reported €20m (plus add-ons) isn’t all that bad.