What does Jakub Kiwior’s arrival at Arsenal mean for Gabriel Magalhaes?

With news from Italy that Spezia defender Jakub Kiwior is set to be Arsenal’s second winter signing, Gabriel Maghaeles’ place in Arteta’s starting eleven may be jeopardized.

Since last summer’s transfer window, there has been talk of Arteta recruiting a left-footed centre-back; last summer, Lisandro Martinez was targeted to fill that need, but that swoop never materialised, forcing Arteta to postpone his plans.

Thereafter, Gabriel has started almost every game in that position in recent months because he is Arteta’s only reliable left-footed centre-back.

With Jakub’s arrival, the reliance on Gabriel’s services may be reduced. Although Gabriel has delivered at times, he has not been without errors. In fact, Manchester United legend Paul Parker believes that looking at the current Arsenal team, Gabriel could be a weakness that teams can capitalise on. “In my opinion, Gabriel Magalhaes is Arsenal’s weakest link. He is erratic, and he is making a mistake in every single game. He is the player that Man United needs to run behind in the game if they want to stand a chance of winning the match,” said Parker when he was discussing the Arsenal team ahead of their clash against Manchester United on Apostagolos.

While Parker labels Gabriel as Arsenal’s weakest link, Serie A expert Matteo Bonetti has hinted at why Arsenal may be getting themselves a defender that Gabriel may need to be at his best to not be replaced in the long term, saying, “Good scouting from Arsenal here. Kiwior has been very impressive for Spezia. Looks very composed for his age – should develop into a starter long term.

“Kiwior’s ability on the ball is likely what got the interest of Arsenal. Nice passing range and confident building out from the back.”

On the 22-year-old’s versatility, Bonetti added: “Also worth noting that Kiwior has played 21 matches as a defensive midfielder in his career, compared to 97 as a centre-back and nine times at left-back.”

A few days ago, many were worried Arteta had no plans for his winter transfer; now all we can say is Arteta is a man with a plan.

WATCH – Here is an in-depth analysis of Kiwior, which shows why he was in such demand….

Tags Kiwior


  1. Magalhaes would likely still become the main left CB, but I believe Mari will be transfer-listed

    I think Kiwior was signed to anticipate Saliba’s decision. I heard Saliba has rejected Arsenal’s contract offer once

    If Saliba decides to stay, Holding might be sold. If Saliba leaves, Holding might be kept and we still have Kiwior/ Trusty for both scenarios

    1. In the short term he will replace Gabriel in the cup games. Gabriel i read has played in every single game this season.

    2. So where did you hear that Saliba has rejected Arsenal’s new offer? please don’t say reliable source. Gabriel has played every game this season, Kiwior is a prospect to back up Gabriel and Partey.

  2. That was quite harsh on Gabriel, IMO hes been quite solid all season together with saliba the second best defence in the division, lets not be overly critical of him, in recent games the errors has reduced,

    1. I thought saliba started like a rock and Gabriel was slightly shakey, but recently it’s completely reversed.
      I expect the new signing has been made purely to increase competition and to get in another lefty at CB. I don’t expect him to usurp Gabriel any time soon.

    2. We need top class options and now we have signed a very promising young CB. We need a better squad depth and have managed that with two quality signings in January so far.

    3. Yh bro. I got you there.
      Gabi has been excellent not withstanding the few errors.. Getting quality options is not a bad idea. Every department must have an equally excellent options. That’s why city thrives

      1. Exactly my point, Gabi had been solid these days,even scoring sometimes,its all about squad depth and getting good options in case of injuries or suspensions!!

    4. Why do you even post what the opposition says about our players. Does signing a cover for anyone of them mean they are poor? I don’t think so. We just need 22 solid players which we do not have now. The team should continue to improve.

    5. ENNY
      It should read
      What does Jakub Kiwior’s arrival at Arsenal mean for Rob Holding

      http://www.90min.com › Premier League
      Premier League defenders – 2022/23 power rankings
      9. Gabriel Magalhaes (re-entry)
      7. Ben White (up 1)
      3. William Saliba (down 1)

      We have 3 defenders in the top ten
      Well done Edu and Arteta….!

      And no..non of our players will want to leave this team….!

  3. Saliba plays right sided centre back, Kiwior plays left sided.

    Kiwior coming in means nothing on Saliba. Kiwior will be rotation for Gabriel whos had to start almost every single game this season, cups included.

  4. @Reggie.
    You are the to go to guy when it comes to Gabriel and Saliba inside knowledge..
    Can you please update us on where we stand with both players at the moment?

    1. Reggie?! 😂 oh of course he’s an ITK 😂😂
      Look, Gabriel is a nailed on starter and stayer. Saliba will be signing very soon and I think Arsenal have triggered a 1 year extension to his contract anyway.
      No need to worry.

    2. Gabriel has signed a contract and is happy. He will be chased in the summer and Arsenal winning the league may just mean he wont want to leave, whatever or whoever comes in for him. Saliba, i have been told is happier but Arsenal are worried he wont sign. If Saliba doesn’t sign Arsenal are looking at Ndika as one option. For me though, winning the league is far more important than any player issues this summer.

      1. I was told we did try to get ndicka in this window, so not being a direct like for like replacement for Saliba, maybe this kid makes the ndicka chase less likely. I know ndicka has played next to Saliba but we were or are interested.

        1. Kiwior signing would be a good addition to the squad, but I don’t see him as a Gabriel replacement, but rather a back up, owing to the many competitions, and especially next season with champions League football next season. Just like happened with Saliba, I would rather he is given out on loan to a French side, with Pablo Mari retained as a Gabriel back up next season.

        2. Pray tell who is your reliable source who gives you all this information. They would haven’t Sugar Plum in their name

      2. I saw some comments from saliba suggesting he was very happy at arsenal, it sounded very much like he felt completely at home. When psg money and contracts come into play, though, I guess anything can happen.

      3. @Reggie
        So why was Gabriel not happy and was open to leaving Arsenal for Juventus last summer as you assured us?
        What changed so dramatically that a month or so after the season started he was suddenly happy to renew and extend his contract under Arteta?
        You said Juventus were confident of getting Gabriel for even a fraction of the £36 million that was being rumoured as he was desperate to get away from Arteta’s oppression.
        That’s what you told us in that amazingly objective ITK Article you wrote in the summer.

        Arteta himself ontop of his dictatorial and authoritarian nature being one of the main reasons you cited for why many of our Star players especially Gabriel, Saliba etc were desperate leave Arsenal..

        1. I don’t know, i do know Juventus were sniffing around and a couple of other teams. In the end, he probably didn’t get a better offer than Arsenal. People made out i was making what i was told as some sort of anti Arteta bullshit. It was not. I was just writing something i was told and was good info. Things change nothing in football should surprise. Arsenal were 100% in fot Mudric, they were 100% certain they would get him and didn’t. Things change and for reasons that are not always clear. I am told Arsenal are worried Saliba will not sign but he may sign tomorrow. He may not but he has choices as others do.

          1. If you look Goonster at the Robbie Savage article on the 15th, i wrote that we were interested in Trossard and Zaha as attackers. Not Vlahavic or Raphina or Diaby, all who had been mentioned. The players i wrote were the players i was told, Trossard first. I am not trying to make out i am some sort of transfer guru, far from it but i do get some info now and again that is not rubbish so i try and put it for people to read. Not all of it happens but. Trossard signed and it wasn’t being reported in the main stream then either. I have always said if people are interested in it, great, if not, great.

            1. Plus the same thing i was told about Saliba. 6 months on he still hasn’t signed a contract. There is one on the table. He may sign it but so far, he hasn’t.

                1. No, no theory and i didn’t say that. I really dont know what Saka is doing. I read and hear he is Arsenal through and through but he has got some big suiters wanting him. The longer he waits, the more likely he is to go but also his value goes down. I thought he would have signed by now but he obviously is in no rush.

              1. @Reggie
                So you heard about a baseless rumour that confirmed your bias against Arteta, then latched onto it with so much venom. You absolutely loved it that it compelled you to write a whole baseless article about it. All because you have a slanted narrative when it comes to Arteta and that rumour confirmed that narrative.

                That’s all I am saying..

              2. About Saliba. I think you are now clutching at straws here. Lol
                So you have all you bases covered here. Make ridiculous gossip claims about the team, they are all proven as just that. But will clutch at any thing at the moment.
                Saka, Martinelli etc have also not signed yet. Are they 2 of the many players in the squad that can’t wait to escape the dictatorial / authoritarian and suffocating nature of Arteta? Hence why they have not renewed their contracts yet?

                1. Goonster, it wasn’t an opinion, it was something i was told by someone i get snippets of info from that is not bullshit. It was not anti Arteta and was said at the time of the post (not article) and since. I have never been anti Arteta that was a lie started by an old age bigot, who writes on here and it stuck. I have had grave doubts about arteta but have NEVER been anti. As i have said you can read what i write and dismiss it but dont be a dick and jump on a bandwagon stated by a person who doesn’t respect opinion. As i said at the time, it had nothing to do with arteta as it wasn’t opinion. I suppose when you are told something you believe is good, you dismiss it? No so dont be disrespectful. I dont come on here to slag people off, i come on for intelligent discussion with people who respect that.

                2. I have not said anything about Saka or Martinelli because i dont know anything about their situation. I didn’t know that they were not going to sign, so i dont get the accusation that is baseless by the way. You are making things up too suit your baseless statement. I have my opinion and like you i give them. Respect that or ignore it.

                  1. And dictorial and every other description you are throwing out there are all YOUR descriptions and baseless.

          2. I am going to the market with my cow, should I swap it for magic beans, you do like a story

  5. Replacement for Gabriel? Someone hasn’t been watching !
    He’s being bought in as a back up for Gabriel or back up at DM . Look at his profile.

  6. Heard we might be trying to get Camavinga on loan. If we make it that will be an absolute fantastic January window. Maybe then we can do a Martin Odegard again and sign him on permanent in summer. I always wanted him at Arsenal it’s just hard when Madrid comes calling.

  7. I heard we’ve also signed a Evan Ndicka will be joining by end of season, who is also a left-sided CB

    Every of this only means Holding will definitely be transfer-listed

    It can only mean rotation for Gabriel but all I see in every way is: Holding nolonger in the plans

    1. I always think of Holding as an honest pro and by and large has done a good job in the role he is offered as a squad player

      Beyond that, he was never good enough to be a regular starter and should be on his way out, and with our thanks for being professional. Apart, of course, from last season’s critical sending off 🙄

      1. He is a good pro Sue, never complains and does a job. Just not quite good enough for a top 4 team. Saying that, he would make a good player for a mid table team.

      2. Yep, on the Amazon series he was asked why he always has a smile on his face and he replied something like “I get paid to play football”.

        I suspect Holding knows it’s coming and he’ll be fine with it when it happens.

        BTW I thought the sending off was harsh. I’ve watched lots of replays of that incident in slo-mo and real time and I’m surprised that most people don’t see it that way. I’m also amazed that people don’t see it as a major factor in not getting top 4 last season. I watched the early stages of the Spurs match last season again a couple of days ago and we were on top all the time until the sending off – it was like watching us this season!

    2. He’ll (Evan Ndicka) be a free agent by end of this season (if he doesn’t sign an extension)

      But with the signing of Kiwior I don’t think we’ll be following this up anymore

  8. What I’ll love now is just 2 top-top quality players

    People we can spend up to 300M on

    A top top quality CDM (Partey backup/rotation)
    & a top top quality Winger (Saka backup/rotation)

    I don’t think we need “good-enough” players anymore

    We need to replicate Jesus and Zinchenko signing with our next 2

    Don’t mind if that happens in the summer cos I think we can weather this season till the end as we are presently

  9. Has any one heard about Ivan Fresnada? Heard we are on the verge of signing him as a direct replacement for TP5

  10. GM6 has been solid throughout this season please let’s not stir up any unnecessary issue here. Kiwior is just 22, meaning he was bought to ease of pressure on Manghalles not replace him. GB6 is a starter no question and his position is in no way under pressure.

    1. So you are saying a Polish international has joined Arsenal from a team he was playing regular football for, as a bench warmer?

      1. Why are you surprised ..
        It’s a massive step up at club level..
        Look at Vestegaard from Southampton to Leicester

      2. Newsflash there mate but AFC have a pretty busy
        fixture list at there doorstep, especially if they make
        deep runs in both EL and FA cup. GM isn’t going to
        be able to play all the games and MA has repeatedly
        stated he was looking for quality LEFT FOOTED cover
        for the Brazilian. The Pole has been a brilliant this
        season @ Spezia, played every game @ the WC and
        was being actively pursued by some very good
        European clubs. He is an immediate TALENT upgrade
        over RH.

        A really good signing for the short and long term

      3. I am sure you’ve heard of squad depth. You know many bench players at City who can be direct starters at Arsenal. Am sure even Kiwor knows this.

        1. James, so you are telling me, we are signing a Polish international who plays every week, is coming to Arsenal to put all that in jeopardy too (as you put it) sit on the bench. Dont think so! And if that is the case, we are not signing the right players.

  11. The quote in the articel answers the question:

    “…should develop into a starter long term”

    Note: long term.

    Also, the issue of left or right footed doesn’t necessarily matter with CBs, weren’t the succesful Arsenal CB pairings of old all right footed players?

        1. Exactly – and it doesn’t matter which foot. As I pointed out, Arsenal’s best CB pairings have been 2 x right footed.

          The point didn’t seem to register in some quarters though.

          1. Ace when we have been short at CB this season, White has not played there. I dont even think he has been moved to CB later in games.

    1. We currently have 4 right sided centre backs in Saliba, Holding, White and Tomi and while the latter two have been used by Arteta elsewhere they are natural CBs.Gabriel, who has come on leaps and bounds lately, is our only natural left footed CB therefore the acquisition of Kiwior makes sense to create the balance which our Boss prefers.Neither White nor Tomi are natural right backs and if, as seems likely, Soares is moved on I suspect Edu may well move for the young, talented Spaniard, Freshena.What concerns me is the time it is taking for Saliba to commit himself to a long term contract and with well known vultures around he may have his head turned towards Paris.Interesting times at Arsenal indeed?

  12. Another daft theory without a shred of truth or evenlikelihood in it . It is abundantly plain to we thinking fans that Kiwior has been brought in for necessary depth and he will at times play.
    But for the foreseeable future our regular two CB’s will continue as first choice together.

    That is OBVIOUS and silly and deliberately foolish theories, aas in this article, do not impress me, as a serious thinking fan, ONE LITTLE BIT!

  13. Jesus.

    Martinelli. Odegaard. Saka.

    Xhaka. Partey.

    Zinchenko. Gabriel. Saliba. White.




    Smith-Rowe. Fabio. Trossard.

    Lokonga. Elneny.

    Tierney. Kiwior. Tomiyasu. Frasneda.



    Cedric, Marquinhos, Holding and Lokonga might be leaving on loan or permanent sale.

    1. Good.

      Marquinhos I think is in development though (think: Martinelli at the time of arrival). Far too early to think of selling him – in fact I think he’s doing well not be out on loan at this stage.

      I haven’t given up on Lokonga yet and I think MA hasn’t either (although it may be close to that time).

  14. I’m confident that Arsenal are up for at least a point tomorrow providing our centre halves are not left exposed like they were at Old Trafford, however I am slightly disappointed in this transfer window. Trossard is a good player to have on the bench but I he is not a game changer and his age means that his value will decrease after two years. Similarly buying another centre half makes me think that Saliba will not be around once his contact expires , so the club is wisely preparing for that eventuality. Not the end of the world I guess, especially in a season when all the stars have aligned in our favour. Hopefully the summer window will see two “top top” quality players such as Rice and Diaby arrive to help keep Arsenal amongst the big boys.

  15. Saliba says he’s happy , but still refuses to sign, that stands to reason he wants a bigger package of what presently been offered.
    It would be interesting to hear the offer that he is reluctant to sign for.

    Things are coming together nicely, we still needs a powerful midfielder to calm things down in our defensive third.
    Any new addition should be of the marquee type in my opinion.

  16. What it means is that Gabriel will not be ran into the ground and can be rested in the cup games. It has been well known Arteta wanted two LCB’s.

    Re: Saliba, he himself said he is a happy and his agent is talking with the club about a new deal so I don’t think there is anything to worry about yet.

    Off Topic: rumours swirling around Camavinga on loan, if we could make this happen what a window this will be!

  17. None of us Gooners saw Arsenal signing of the Polish centreback Jakub Kiwor coming this winter transfer widow. As Arsenal looked to have succeeded keep away their moves to sign him from this season’s winter transfer window rumour mill. Who didn’t get a hint of it to chuck it out.
    So therefore, it’s kudos to Arsenal for their keeping their business done to sign the Polish defender confidential.
    However, in the case of Leandro Trossard the playmaker who Arsenal first signed this winter window. Perior to his signing by Arsenal. Us Gooners got a hit of the likelihood of Arsenal could sign him this winter window. As his name was lightly linked with Arsenal in the media for their signing this winter. After their pursuit of Mykhailo Mudryk signing this winter had unceremoniously collapsed. Which was occasioned by highjacking cynically orchestrated by Chelsea owner Todd Boehley.

  18. But why shouldn’t Arsenal get their highly rated right footed centreback William Saliba to extend his contract with the Club by another 5 years term now this winter? Before it expires in 1&1/2 seasons time?
    Is it because there is still enough time to it for that to be done? Or the club have not offered him what he wants to extend?
    If Arteta/Edu can convince Nkethia to extend his contract with the club by a 5 year extension. After it was expiring last summer transfer window. I can’t figure out why Arteta/Edu will not be able to do same in Saliba’s case.
    I believe the duo Arsenal chieftains know the consequencies of Arsenal not getting Saliba to extend his staying with them before this winter window expired down to the end of the season in May. I therefore urge the the club hierarchy bosses concerned with contract extensions ay the club to get Saliba to extend with minimum ti,me delays. So that us Arsenal don’t lose him next summer to a giant club side like Real ;madrid if they want him.

  19. It means that Gabriel Magalhaes has gained a new teammate, incidentally someone who plays his position, as well as that of Thomas Partey. Fin.

  20. I dont think Gabriel is in any danger of losing his starting place anytime soon. He has served Arsenal well over the years. The incoming of Kiwior will certainly add depth and as the season is still long and hard we will need depth in every position. Also another advantage of signing Kiwior is his ability to play as a DM.

  21. I could remember vividly what Arteta said. He said Arsenal ” Arsenal must sign one or two players in every transfer window to improve the team” Remember we don’t have Squad Debt.

  22. Paul Parker is a lazy journalist. Gabriel is not much different from Granit Xhaka. Their passion overwhelms them sometimes but it also rubs positively on their teammates. Saliba committed more errors that lead to goals than Gabriel but then again the mass fans will always listen to media morons who says what they feel than to think and evaluate the actual facts. The narrative against Arsenal is no longer a secret but sometimes the fans are the victims of their own emotional meltdown.

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