New-boy Sead Kolasinac has revealed that Arsenal’s strong German influence in the squad helped him quickly settle in.
Defender Kolasinac arrived on a free transfer this summer and seems to be settling in just fine. After some notable performances in pre-season, the Bosnian really announced himself to the Arsenal support with a goal against Chelsea in the Community Shield.
According to the player, Arsenal’s German contingent has made settling in at a new club a lot easier. “What made things easier when I arrived was that I had a lot of players here with whom I could speak to in German,” Kolasinac said, reports the Mirror.
“There are a few players who have helped me with things like where to live, where to go out in the evening. The team have really helped me.”
Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Ozil have all played in the Bundesliga, while Arsenal now have Jens Lehmann back at the club as well. Kolasinac, who has spent most of his life in Germany and could have represented them at international level, would have benefited from being surrounded by German speakers.
Another key influence has been Granit Xhaka, a former Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder, who welcomed Kolasinac to the club before anyone else. “After I signed, Granit sent me a message and that pleased me,” he added.
“It made it easier to come here because you get to a new club and don’t know anyone, which makes it exciting and nerve-wracking.
“It was nice to have had contact with him before and I was happy that he sent me a message. I’ve had contact with him over WhatsApp since, and it definitely made things easier for me.
“We’ve played against each other a few times [in the past]. They were always fiery encounters against him! He played in the No 6 role and I think the last time I played against him, we unfortunately lost. But after he left, we won against Gladbach again.”
The fans have also been doing their bit to make Kolasinac feel welcome and have really taken a liking to him. His physical style of play and never-say-die attitude has endeared him to everyone, and we look forward to seeing him play when he’s well and truly settled at the club.
Manager Arsene Wenger recently praised his physical attributes and determined attitude, highlighting how his mental strength was the reason why he signed him from Schalke in the summer. Teammate Theo Walcott also recently showered the defender with praise.