January Arsenal signing plays new position for national team
Arsenal defender Jakub Kiwior has started every game for Poland since his debut last June, and the current international break has been no exception.
Kiwior played 90 minutes against the Czech Republic on Friday, and he followed that up with another 90-minute appearance against Albania on Monday.
But interestingly, Poland opted to use the 23-year-old at left-back in the second of those two appearances.
Kiwior had played at centre-back in every one of his previous 10 caps, but coach Fernando Santos clearly wanted to try something different, using Bartosz Salamon and Jan Bednarek in the middle with Kiwior on the left.
It seems it worked, given Poland came through the match with a clean sheet and a 1-0 win. They did need Wojciech Szczesny to make three saves, but they didn’t give up any big chances on the day.
This isn’t the first time Kiwior has ever played at left-back, having also done so at times for the Poland youth teams and for former club MSK Zilina.
But Kiwior’s last club Spezia Calcio almost always used the 23-year-old in the middle, whether at centre-back or in defensive midfield.
Arsenal are unlikely to give Kiwior too many opportunities at left-back, particularly right now.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has the first-choice spot in the starting lineup, and Kieran Tierney is desperate for opportunities whenever they’re available.
There’s also Nuno Tavares to come back from loan, adding some further congestion to the pecking order. Not to mention youth options like Lino Sousa.
But you never know what might happen in the future. Kiwior is only 23, and it wouldn’t be the first time Arsenal signed a young centre-back and moved them out to full-back. Just ask Ben White.