Robert Lewandowski praises ‘extraordinary’ new Arsenal signing Jakub Kiwior

    Jakub Kiwior starred for Poland at the 2022 World Cup (Photo: Getty)

    Legendary striker Robert Lewandowski is among those who have spoken very highly of incoming Arsenal defender Jakub Kiwior.

    On Friday, Arsenal completed their first signing of this January transfer window with Leandro Trossard moving from Brighton in a deal worth £21million.

    And it won’t be long before another new player arrives at the Emirates, with reports emerging that the Gunners are closing in on the shock signing of Kiwior for €20m (£17.5m).

    The transfer has seemingly come out of nowhere and Kiwior is not a name Arsenal fans will be familiar with, but the Spezia centre-back is highly-rated back in Italy.

    He also had a good World Cup campaign with Poland, helping his country reach the round of 16 in Qatar and keeping two clean sheets in four matches, only conceding goals against eventual finalists Argentina and France.

    The 22-year-old only made his international debut last summer but he clearly made a great first impression, with Poland’s captain and all-time top goalscorer Lewandowski singing his praises.

    ‘The guy has great potential,’ the Barcelona star said.

    Real Betis v FC Barcelona - Super Copa de España
    Robert Lewandowski reportedly wanted Kiwior to sign for Barcelona (Photo: Getty)

    ‘During the warm-up of the game with the Netherlands, I thought, “Who is this guy?”. Then, during the match, I realised that he is extraordinary.’

    It was even reported last year that the 34-year-old had told Barcelona to sign Kiwior, such was his form for Poland.

    Primarily a left-sided centre-back, Kiwior is also capable of playing at left-back and as a defensive midfielder, and he was sometimes used in that role at Spezia by then-manager and midfield icon Thiago Motta.

    Udinese Calcio v Spezia Calcio - Serie A
    Thiago Motta signed Kiwior for Serie A side Spezia (Photo: Getty)

    ‘He didn’t play much at the beginning, but he has trained well, we needed a player who would give us more balance and we found it in Jakub,’ Motta said after Kiwior’s debut against Inter Milan.

    ‘We also tried him in midfield, he is a smart player and works very hard. It’s a difficult role, but he manages to do it.

    ‘He gives us balance and it’s what we were looking for.’

    While he will not likely sign in time for Arsenal’s huge game against Manchester United on Sunday, if the deal is done soon he could be available for the league leaders’ FA Cup clash at Manchester City next Friday.

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