Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer, with the deal set to go through this summer, according to the Daily Mail. The news will come as a welcome relief for Arsene Wenger, who has had negative headlines follow him wherever he has gone the last few months.
The Bosnian has been one of the most impressive full-backs on the continent this season. He has bagged 3 goals and 5 assists in his 21 Bundesliga appearances this term, impressive figures for a defender. The 23-year-old attracted interest from a number of other clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Juventus, with it being widely believed that the former made a bid for his services back in January. Arsenal have done well to attract the player ahead of those clubs, it is rumoured that he has been assured of Wenger’s future at the club, and that helped with his decision.
Kolasinac was actually born in Germany, and represented the country from U18 to U20 level, before deciding to commit his international future to Bosnia, the country from which his parents hail. He has since picked up 17 caps for his national side and is one of their most effective and consistent performers.
Kolasinac is a powerful player who posses a sweet left foot. His relentless energy allows him to get up and down the flank all game long, this, as well as his assured nature on the ball is a big reason why he has been able to pick up so many assists. He has matched the Premier Leagues best, Kyle Walker, with 5 league assists this year.
The Bosnians quality on the ball means that he has occasionally been deployed in centre mid, additionally, he is comfortable playing at centre back. This could be very useful and give Wenger tactical flexibility should the Frenchman ever divert from his usual 4-2-3-1 to play the in vogue 5 at the back. By far the best two teams in the league this year have been Arsenal’s big London rivals Chelsea and Spurs; both teams play with 5 at the back so it’s something Wenger should be considering implementing at times next term.
The signing of Kolasinac is a necessary one as Kieran Gibbs has just not developed to the extent Arsenal need. Whereas Nacho Monreal is a dependable performer, but nowhere near the top-level, despite being the only player who can hold his head high after Monday’s debacle against Palace.
The signing is thought to be the first of many at the Emirates this year. That will have to be the case if the club are to appease the Wenger out brigade, who will not be at all happy when he eventually does announce that he is to extend his stay at Arsenal beyond this season.