Arsenal: Jakub Kiwior explains why he can handle unexpected demand from Mikel Arteta

Arsenal: Jakub Kiwior explains why he can handle unexpected demand from Mikel Arteta

Jakub Kiwior has insisted he is ready to play multiple roles at Arsenal after a surprise position change early in his Gunners career.

When Mikel Arteta signed the Polish defender in January, many saw him as a left-sided centre-back who would act as cover for Gabriel Magalhaes.

However, a handful of his ten appearances for Arsenal so far have come at left-back, which has been the case even amid Gabriel’s recent dropping from the starting XI.

Arteta’s ever-changing tactical plans have seen Kiwior operate on the left side of a four-man defence that becomes something of a back three in possession with Thomas Partey moving up from right-back.

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s return to fitness and Partey’s injury saw the team revert to a more typical back four against Manchester United, with Gabriel starting and Takehiro Tomiyasu drawn off the bench to play left-back late on - leaving Kiwior an unused substitute.

But being moved around the pitch is no issue for the 23-year-old, who has revealed that he did not even see himself as a centre-back until his time with Italian club Spezia.

“When I was younger, I used to play all positions actually,” he told the Arsenal website.

“But I don’t know when I started playing as a centre-back. It helps me a lot. I think it was when I was playing in Spezia, I was put in a central position and didn’t understand why initially, but then I realised it was helping me a lot to understand other things.

“As far as playing my position is concerned, my inspiration was Sergio Ramos. We would often watch his video clips.”

Kiwior was occasionally deployed as a defensive midfielder while starring in Serie A but he has now settled for more of a bit-part role in Arsenal’s Premier League title push.

“If I start a match on the bench, I’m always prepared to go and play,” he noted.

“I’m prepared for the team and for the coach to do my best. I think that everybody within the team has a very good relationship with the coach, the same as me.”