Arsenal’s purchase of Jakub Kiwior has been described as a “sneakily good signing”. The Poland international has impressed on his first two Premier League starts since his January arrival.
Kiwior’s initial £17.5million move from Serie A club Spezia went slightly under the radar. Fans knew he was initially only being brought in as back-up to Mikel Arteta’s first-choice centre-back duo of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Being left-footed, it likely meant he would deputise for Gabriel if he was missing, while Rob Holding covers for William Saliba. Up until recently, that was the case.
But Arteta decided to bring Kiwior in for the home match against Chelsea after a winless run of four games with Holding in the team. He then remained in the team for the crucial win at third-placed Newcastle on Sunday.
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Former Wimbledon midfielder Robbie Earle has been impressed with the 23-year-old so far. He says the biggest compliment is that Kiwior has quietly gone about his business and reckons he the Pole could be a big player for the future.
Earle told NBC Sports: “I’m going to give out my underappreciated performer of the week, I’m chucking it out there early, Jakub Kiwior. He could have had a bad start with the handball, the penalty, it looks like it brushes off his knee or whatever.
“I think we got to the right decision. No drama, to go to Newcastle with that atmosphere, with that forward line, with that type of game with very little Premier League experience.
“People have asked ‘why hasn’t he come in?’ with the Saliba situation and Holding. He looks calm, he looks composed. No massive dramas, no massive mistakes.
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“I wouldn’t say he’s been brilliant, but to not say anything about him is a compliment, you didn’t really notice him. You’re up against [Alexander] Isak on one side and Callum Wilson, who know their way around, they’re physical, good players. I just think he’s a sneaky good little signing who might be sneakily good for the future.”
Earle’s NBC colleague and former Middlesbrough midfielder Robbie Mustoe agrees that Kiwior has shown good early signs. Earle said: “He’s only going to get better, showing that he can handle this level in two very important games.
“It’s a very good shout, I didn’t think about him but I think you’re right. If he’s not standing out as being awkward and not playing well and struggling, which might be expected, but when he fits in there and does a pretty good job against Newcastle’s attack…”
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