Arsenal didn’t make many moves in the summer transfer market, with only two senior signings arriving at the club. The focus was on the singing of Alexandre Lacazette as he was brought in for a big fee and arrived with the reputation of being one of the best strikers in Europe. However, it has been the other signing, Sead Kolasinac, that has had the greater impact during the opening weeks of the new season. The 24-year-old was a free transfer from Schalke and already looks like he is one of the best full-backs in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old was a free transfer from Schalke and already looks like he is one of the best full-backs in the Premier League. There was interest from across Europe, which was unsurprising given his talent and contractual situation, but he opted for the Gunners. His decision showed that Arsenal could still compete for signings with clubs in the Champions League and his influence since joining suggests he will be real value for money. Although he didn’t require a transfer fee, he will be on big wages and have been given a sizeable signing on fee.
It has been his attacking quality that has been most noticeable since joining. He has contributed two assists already in the Premier League and offers a threatening outlet down the left wing. Currently, he averages 1.07 chances created and 0.81 attempted shots per ninety minutes. This is likely to improve over the course of the season as he adjusts to the league. His quality of delivery is spot on, as he has two assists, despite creating just over one chance per ninety minutes.
In possession, he is reliable and has a pass completion of 82%. Considering he often has the ball when in the attacking half, this is impressive. His pace and power make him a threat when dribbling and this makes him an exciting player to watch. As he gains more experience in England, he will become more accustomed to the physical style and improve as a result. Kolasinac has the attributes to be a real success in this league and his start has shown that.
Although it is his ability in possession that makes him such an exciting player to watch, the Bosnian international is a good defender. His reading of the game is superb and he is rarely caught out of position, despite his attacking tendencies. He is averaging 2.69 successful tackles and 0.81 interceptions per ninety minutes. Kolasinac looks to be aggressive and win the ball back at the earliest opportunity. This suits the Premier League and it is not surprising that he has won a lot of people over in a short amount of time.
Kolasinac hasn’t been given the easiest start to life in the Premier League, which makes his performances even more impressive. He was asked to play as part of a back three initially and was dropped against Liverpool, despite impressing in the first two fixtures. Arsenal have had problems with the mentality of their players in recent seasons. The 24-year-old is an impressive character and one that the Gunners will benefit from having around the dressing room.
The fact he has already made a positive impression suggests he will turn out as a great signing in the long-term. Arsenal should see him as their left-back for the next five or six years at least. He has everything to be one of the best in Europe if he continues to develop at a quick rate. Arsene Wenger deserves a lot of credit for persuading him to move to North London.