Arsenal target Kiwior spotted at airport as Arteta lays out ‘plan’

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Arsenal transfer target Jakub Kiwior has been spotted at an Italian airport as he prepares to fly in for his Gunners medical. The centre-back could become the latest in a long line of young talent to land at the Emirates, but manager Mikel Arteta has explained that youth isn’t always the answer. 

After several weeks of unsuccessfully jostling with Shakhtar Donetsk for Mykhaylo Mudryk, Arsenal’s January transfer window is finally moving with just over a week left. On Friday they announced the £21million signing of Leandro Trossard from Brighton, with the in-form Belgian set to provide Arteta with extra options out wide. 

After Gunners fans were made to wait almost three weeks for their first January arrival, it looks as though the second will follow shortly afterwards as Kiwior is en route to London. According to transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, a £22m fee has already been agreed with Spezia and the formalities of the deal are set to be completed. 

The 22-year-old has been spotted at an airport in Pisa as he prepares to undergo his medical and sign for the Gunners, who already have an established defensive pairing in William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes. 

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Squad depth is thought to be a concern for Arteta’s side, however, as they seek to hold off the challenge of Manchester City on their quest for a first Premier League title since 2003/04. Trossard’s arrival was the first step to combating the issue, and at 28 years old, he comes in as an already-established top-flight goal threat. 

The signing came as a surprise to some, given that Arsenal have specialised in recruiting young talent over the past few years, but Arteta admitted this week that signing players exclusively under the age of 22 is ‘not the plan’. 

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“It’s very simple. The squad can absorb right now a player of 28 years old,” Arteta told reporters. “With the right experience, the right versatility and the right quality. And as well with the right price, for sure. And we had no questions about that.

“It is not that we had to sign 20, 21, 22-year-olds for the next five years. That is not the plan. We need to have a balance and at the moment we have a really good balance in the squad, it can absorb a player of that age.”

Although Arteta claims that young players aren’t always the answer, Kiwior will certainly add youth to a squad that already boasts starlets such as Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Saliba. 

The 6ft 2in star has already amassed nine caps for Poland and he started all four of their matches at the Qatar World Cup. Having spent time as a youth prospect with Anderlecht, he made his senior breakthrough in Slovakia before heading to Spezia in 2021. 

This campaign, the youngster has started all but one of the Italian outfit’s Serie A matches as they sit 15th in the league table. Kiwior is likely to become third-choice centre-back in north London with Rob Holding and Takehiro Tomiyasu also able to fill in. 

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