With Stoke signing PSG forward, Jese Rodriguez, on loan, the former Real Madrid starlet is set to come face-to-face with Sead Kolasinac, who sidelined him for nine months.

Kolasinac sidelined Jese for nine months in 2014 while he was at Real Madrid when the La Liga giants came up against Schalke in the Champions League.

The 24-year-old is convinced that the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered as a result of Kolasinac’s tackle negatively affected his career at Real. He did, after all, miss 40 games at a crucial age.

“I have thought about it,” he told Marca in February [via Sun].

“And I’ve never liked comparing myself to anyone, but I think I would be an undisputed starter for Real Madrid. Of that I’m sure.

“You never know, hopefully some day I’ll be back. It was the team that birthed me as a footballer — it’s like when a mother gives birth, Madrid did that for me.”

Although, the following year he did make 28 appearances in La Liga, Los Blancos sold him to PSG in 2016 for £21m and he’s since been sent out for loan spells at Las Palmas, where he made 16 appearances and scored three, and now Stoke.

jese rodriguez kolasinac
MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 18: Jese of Real Madrid goes down under a heavy tackle from Sead Kolasinac of Schalke during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, second leg match between Real Madrid and FC Schalke 04 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 18, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Both players will most likely start against each other in the Premier League clash on Saturday in which the Gunners travel to Stoke. It’ll be the first time Jese has come face-to-face with the defender who injured him. However, as it was three years ago, he’s bound to recognised that the Bosnia international, like himself, was no older than 21 at the time.

I imagine, by the sounds of it, the Spaniard doesn’t sound as if he holds a grudge against Kolasinac. He just sounds sad. However, since recovering from his knee injury, he’s only ever been sidelined once and that was for 10 days due to stomach flu.

As he said back in February, hopelessly he’ll return to his best. As long as he doesn’t do it against Arsenal on Saturday.