New centre-back Jakup Kiwior says he was “ecstatic” when he learned that Arsenal were interested in signing him and that he couldn’t help laughing when he was presented with a Gunners shirt with his name on.
The Poland international, 22, moves to Emirates Stadium from Spezia in a deal worth a reported €25 million and has penned a contract that will run until 2027 with an option for a further 12 months.
Speaking in his native tongue for his first interview at the club, Kiwior looked like a man who couldn’t quite believe what was going on.
“It’s huge for me that Arsenal were interested and that I’m able to be here. I’m aware that Arsenal are a massive club in a top league, so I didn’t really have to think about much else. I was just ecstatic and really wanted to come.
He added: “When I saw my name on an Arsenal shirt for the first time, I just laughed! I was so happy to see my name on the shirt of such a huge club. For me, it’s an incredibly happy moment and the pinnacle to play for such a big club.
“I’ve always dreamt of playing in the Premier League. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and if I got the chance, then I knew I’d have to make the most of it because it was one of my biggest dreams. For me, it’s the best league. I’m thrilled to be here.”
It’s unknown how long Arsenal were tracking Kiwior but once our interest in him was made public on Friday, we worked quickly to finalise the deal.
A left-sided centre-back with a past as a holding midfielder, it’s likely that Kiwior will initially provide backup to Gabriel Magalhaes.
Reflecting on the acquisition, manager Mikel Arteta said: “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.
“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.”
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.”