Arsenal showcased some decent ambition in the January transfer window by strengthening their squad.
The Gunners are on top of the league table, five points clear of Manchester City. They have won 16 out of their 20 games so far and have the second-best defensive record too, having conceded just 17 goals this season.
Irrespective of having a pretty stacked backline, Mikel Arteta decided to pull the trigger on a defensive signing in January.
The Gunners ended up making a surprise decision to go hunting in Serie A. They quickly negotiated and finalized a move to sign Spezia centre-back Jakub Kiwior, who impressed many with his performances for Poland at the Qatar World Cup.
Who is Jakub Kiwior?
Kiwior helped Poland keep clean sheets against Mexico and Saudi Arabia, conceding just five goals in four World Cup games in Qatar. He had been playing for the Serie A club for the last few seasons, featuring heavily for them and helping the lowly side maintain their stance in the top division.
He has been praised as a special talent by Robert Lewandowski and is tipped to become a very good defender in the years ahead.
At 22, Kiwior is yet to move into the best phase of his career and Arteta wants flexible defenders like him to ensure his side can keep competing for major trophies in the long term.
While the Polish centre-back is unlikely to play regularly ahead of Gabriel Magalhaes or William Saliba in the near future – he will add another strong defensive option and hope to outperform the Arsenal defenders to stitch a regular playing role for himself.
What records did Kiwior break?
Kiwior appears to be making a bright impression on his new teammates quickly after joining the club. He only recently joined first-team training but has already won over Arteta with his heroics in training.
As per reports, Kiwior has already broken a few training ground records since joining the North London giants. These include the fastest short sprint, highest agility jump and standing spring records that were held by former players.
Interestingly, Bukayo Saka allegedly held the record for the most effective fastest short sprinter at the London Colney ground. He incidentally beat both ex-Gunners Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott to this achievement. Bellerin, meanwhile, was the one to oust Walcott by running 40 metres in 4.441 seconds.
While Saka’s exact time for this short sprint record is unknown, he did beat Bellerin to this during his time under Arteta. Kiwior has, however, somehow been able to oust even the in-form English winger by setting a new record.
The 22-year-old defender is probably proof that looks can be deceiving in football. The 6’2 defender might look bulky, but he is also blessed with impressive speed and acceleration – which helped them to break all these records at Arsenal since joining the club.
Kiwior has reportedly won over a lot of his teammates and coaching staff after setting these records, which prove that the Gunners might’ve taken a calculated risk in bringing him to the club to help add more competition to the defensive positions.