How Arsenal beat three Serie A giants to £18m Kiwior as agent lifts lid on January transfer saga
- Polish defender joined Gunners from Spezia
- Juve, Milan and Napoli all keen
- New challenge taken on in Premier League
WHAT HAPPENED? The highly-rated 22-year-old was snapped up by the Gunners when they put an £18 million ($22m) deal in place with Spezia. A number of Serie A heavyweights had been keen on keeping the talented centre-half – who represented his country at the 2022 World Cup – in Italy, but delays to discussions there allowed Premier League leaders Arsenal to swoop in.
WHAT THEY SAID: Kiwior’s representative, Sasha Baranov, has told TV Play of the saga that led to his client ending up at Emirates Stadium: “All the important Italian clubs other than Inter showed interest, including Napoli, AC Milan and Juventus. However, with Napoli’s current situation, they didn’t need to change their team in January and wanted to continue talks in the summer. You all know what happened at Juventus [points deduction], while Milan also waited, and you know what happens when the Premier League clubs come in.
“When a side like Arsenal come along, it becomes difficult for a 22-year-old to say no. If it was Juventus or another big club coming in, it may well have been the same situation, but Arsenal are the only side who really pushed the talks forward. We honestly didn’t expect it to all move so fast, we thought he would stay in January and leave Spezia in June. Arsenal came in and the player did not put pressure on his club, he just said that if the move was to happen, then good, otherwise he was happy to wait.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kiwior spent 18 months with Spezia, taking in 43 appearances, and is now looking to compete with the likes of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes for minutes at the heart of Arsenal’s defensive unit.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Arsenal, who are five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, will be back in action on Saturday when taking in a trip to struggling Everton – who will have Sean Dyche in their dugout for the first time.