Sead Kolasinac is joining Arsenal on a free transfer from Schalke so just what sort of player would Arsenal be getting?
- Bosnian can play centre back, left back and left wing back
- He’s a powerful defender with considerable size
- Is a threat going forward and can whip in a good cross
- His transfer is expected to be announced on Tuesday
The Bosnian defender has played as a left back and left wing back for Schalke this season, which is just what Arsenal need after they switched to a three-man backline.
The 23-year-old is something of an unconventional wing back. Unlike the smaller, quicker players that tend to play in the position, Kolasinac has a powerful build and is strong in the air. He is known for being a good defender first and a decent attacker second.
Kolasinac knows how to use his strength well and defends by getting his body between player and ball. Most attackers are unable to get through his sizeable frame. The defender will bring power to the Arsenal backline, something that Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs are unable to do.
The defender used to be criticised for lacking the skill required for an attacking fullback, but this side of his game has come on leaps and bounds this season. While not the most graceful of players, Kolasinac is a difficult player to stop once he gets going. He can push the ball past a defender and whip a decent cross in, something that our fullbacks tend to struggle with. His improvement going forward has led to three goals and five assists for Schalke this season.
Arsenal will be getting a well-balanced player that should be well-equipped for the rigours of the Premier League. While he’ll have to adapt like every player that moves, his strength means he’ll be able to deal with the league’s physicality.
Usefully, he can also play as a centre back. This means that should Arsenal continue to use a 3-4-2-1, Kolasinac could play as a left wing back or as the left sided centre back. Should Arsenal revert to a back four, he’ll have no problems dropping back into left back.
With Arsenal prone to injuries in the centre of defence, any player who can cover there is welcome.
Although he represents Bosnia at international level, Kolasinac was born in Germany. With a decently sized German contingent at the club, he should be able to settle in well.
As a free transfer, Kolasinac could prove to be a very astute piece of business for the club.
Arsenal will have improved in one position while also adding cover for several others without having to pay a transfer fee.
The signing has yet to be confirmed, but an announcement is expected next week.