Sead Kolasinac’s departure to Schalke on loan opens up a spot in both the Europa League and the Premier League squads at Arsenal, so who will benefit?

Gabriel Martinelli back in training with Arsenal (Photo via Twitter)
Gabriel Martinelli in training with Arsenal (Photo via Twitter)

Arsenal confirmed on 31 December that Sead Kolasinac had joined his former club, Schalke, on loan until the end of the season.

In the Europa League, I would be very surprised if Gabriel Martinelli doesn’t fill it the spot now free. Despite his age, he isn’t eligible for the under-21 B-list, having been with Arsenal for less than two years. So he has to occupy a senior squad spot instead.

However, Martinelli is already in the Premier League squad, as there are no such restrictions for under-21s domestically.

As a result, Arsenal could reintegrate Sokratis Papastathopoulos or Mesut Özil. I certainly wouldn’t expect them to, but it’s possible. More likely, the club use the extra space for a new signing.

But if they want to use that new signing in the Europa League, they’ll have to sell or exclude someone else, which makes things tricky. If Shkodran Mustafi (who has just six months left on his deal) follows Kolasinac out the door, that would open things up.