by Mosope Ominiyi
According to reports in The Mirror, Arséne Wenger’s men are eyeing up a possible move to sign Schalke’s 22-year-old left-back, Sead Kolasinac.
The talented youngster, who impressed with his native Bosnia at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, has risen in both popularity and development with the Royal Blues since properly breaking into the side two seasons ago.
He has been a first-team regular ever since, but due to a cruciate ligament rupture injury last term, he only made eight appearances in all competitions.
With that being said though, he has recovered well from his injury set-backs. This in itself is an encouraging sign from a youngster determined to not let unfortunate instances hurt his development too much, as he has eased himself back into football with plenty of cameo appearances to avoid risking him at the wrong time.
Plenty of rumours have been running rampant regarding Nacho Monreal’s future at the club, and even though he is happy in north London, the experienced Spaniard is not getting any younger.
Having established himself as the side’s first-choice left-back over Kieran Gibbs, the 29-year-old has got to a stage in his career where he has to be consistently playing regular matches. Otherwise, he may indeed consider options elsewhere, especially with younger players coming through the ranks.
At Schalke, they handled the Kolasinac setback relatively well – sticking Dennis Aogo into the position, although the German can also put a shift in as a defensive midfielder.
Coincidentally enough, Kolasinac also offers the same type of versatility. Although he is predominantly a left-back, he can also slot in a centre-back and as a defensive midfielder, which are all intriguing options for Arsenal to consider given the lack of cover in those positions at times.
Kolasinac is one of Schalke’s most promising players, so they’d be reluctant to sell. However, if Arsenal made them a considerable bid – say of, £10million, they’d be sure to mull it over and discuss further negotiations.
Marvin Friedrich, former City defender Matija Nastasic and new signing Junior Caicara can all play on the left, and that’s ignoring Aogo who is already there at the moment.
The Bundesliga side finished sixth in the league last season after spells of inconsistency featuring plenty of draws and disappointing defeats along the way. If Kolasinac does want to better himself, a move to a club of more pedigree could be beneficial to him – but perhaps not now.
With Gibbs and Monreal fighting for the left-back slot at the club, signing Kolasinac would be a long-term replacement for the both of them. A very good one at that.
It just remains to be seen – will Wenger make his move this summer, or at another time?