Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Polish centre-back Jakub Kiwior from Spezia.
The 22-year-old joins the Premier League leaders on a long-term contract, believed to be a four-and-a-half year deal until 2027 with the option of an additional 12 months.
Kiwior becomes Arsenal’s second signing of the January transfer window after Leandro Trossard, and the Gunners are reported to have paid an upfront fee of £17.5m, which could rise to £21m with add-ons.
The Poland international arrives in North London to provide competition and cover for Gabriel Magalhaes in the heart of defence, while he can also play as a defensive midfielder and wing-back.
“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,” Gunners boss Mikel Arteta told arsenal.com.
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“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.”
Arsenal moved quickly to strike a deal for Kiwior, who was believed to have been on the radar of Napoli, Juventus and AC Milan among others, and they made a breakthrough in negotiations on Friday.
The former Anderlecht youngster subsequently travelled to North London over the weekend and was pictured in attendance at the Emirates during Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Sporting director Edu added: “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.”
Kiwior leaves Spezia after making 43 appearances for the Italian outfit in all tournaments, helping the Little Eagles stave off relegation to Serie B last season from a midfield position.
Kiwior transitioned to a centre-back role for the 2022-23 season and started Spezia’s first 17 Serie A games before Arsenal accelerated talks, and he has earned nine caps for the senior Poland team.
The defender only made his debut for Poland in June, but he started all four of their games at the 2022 World Cup as the Eagles lost to eventual runners-up France in the last 16.
Kiwior could make his debut for the Gunners in Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester City before Arteta’s side return to Premier League action away to managerless Everton on February 4.