Why Sead Kolasinac is one of the best signing Arsenal have made in years
I remember when it was first being touted that Arsenal had potentially made an agreement with Schalke's Sead Kolasinac over a Bosman signing, Arsenal fans everywhere groaned in resignation that this was going to be "another one of those" and by that what was meant was another Marouane Chamakh or Yaya Sanogo or even another Joe O'Cearuill (who?) Not since the days of big Sol Campbell (both times) and Cesc Fabregas, have Arsenal had the nouse to make an exceptionally intelligent free transfer until now and unless you were a Bundesliga fan (where his five assists last season was the greatest tally of any defender in the league) you still would have underestimated Arsène Wenger on this shrewed move. One Gooner even went as far as to falsely claim Schalke were letting Kolasinac go and no other club wanted him, when this couldn't be further from the truth. Sead had known of Arsenal's interest in him for quite some time and in fact had put a halt on extension proceedings with Schalke as well as talks with a couple of clubs including Juventus because of their approach. Liverpool, Man City, A.C. Milan, PSG, Everton and Chelsea were among other clubs who tried to sign Saed and their loss is Arsenal's gain as The Bosnian Hulk as he's so fondly known, has done nothing except solidify this waning Gunners team and is slowly dragging them back from the edge. In the last few years Arsenal haven't exactly been known to have had that steely, gritty defensive brick wall they had before The Emirates move, Laurent Koscielny has been a beast centrally as well as talisman, Per Mertesacker and arguably Shkodran Mustafi but on the left hand side I don't think we've ever had anybody come through the breakers on such a scale. Kieran Gibbs never really cut the mustard as our full time left sided full back and although I believe Nacho Monreal is a fine player unfairly judged by some, he's proving himself better suited as a left sided Centre-Back in a 3 at the back system. As a club, Arsenal only seem to produce top shelf left-backs once in a blue moon. Every era seems to have had one for them such as Kenny Sansom, Nigel Winterburn, Ashley Cole but that's where it stopped as far as I'm concerned, until now that is, enter Sead Kolasinac. The mere imposing presence of this man has visibly shaken midfielders and right-wingers alike, whether he's steamrolling toward them off the ball or barreling past them whilst on it. He uses the pace he has to protect the centre-backs also. Kolasinac is built like the proverbial brick house and uses that strength to his advantage, knocking opposition aside with what almost seems like some kind of Psychokinesis as he glides along the left flank with all the grace of a Mk VII Cavalier, rescuing The Louvre. The man is not afraid to go straight for the jugular and as proven in the seven games he's played in England, he's definitely ready for the physical demands of the Premier League. Lock, stock and Barrel. It isn't only defensive prowess that Kolasinac carries with him however, he oozes sheer resplendence in the midfield as well that, although we see time and again from Mesut Özil, we've truly missed since we lost Santi Cazorla ten months ago. For as big a behemoth as Kolasinac is, his ability to dribble and cut through opposition, picking out a teammate through a sea of opposition is definitely a quality pleasing to the eye for all Arsenal fans and he doesn't stop there either. Sead Kolasinac will pop up anywhere on the Football pitch, that he is required. He is like the Genie appearing after Aladdin has rubbed the lamp, whether it be protecting his teammates from an incoming attacking, laying the groundwork in midfield for a counter attack or even uptop in the opposing third. In the seven games Kolasinac has played for Arsenal, he's already scored two goals himself and set up another two, showing why he's just as good in attack, as in defence. One of those goals came in Sead's Arsenal debut, 8 minutes from time in the Community Shield against Chelsea to level the game 1-1 and take it to penalties, which Arsenal went on to win. His other goal was four minutes into coming on as a half-time substitute in Arsenal's Europa league tie with Köln, which started a 3-1 win for The Gunners. Kolasinac's penchant for an assist won't go unnoticed in the future either, already planting two for Arsenal including a sublime setup for Danny Welbeck, six minutes into a game against Bournemouth, Seo is actually only second behind Real Madrid's Marcelo in assists by a defender, since August 2016. Sead Kolasinac is definitely one of the more brilliant defensive signings Arsenal have made in an extremely long time and creatively & going forward the beast is an absolute threat. Whether at left-back or wing-back he certainly makes his presence known and whether coincidence or not it has already been evidenced how important he is to the squad, in our implosion against Liverpool in which he didn't make one minutes appearance. He is strong, he is pacey and has intelligence levels I've personally not seen since Özil came on board. Wenger has got it right a few times since we left Highbury, but in terms of what we've needed from back to front in the last decade, I believe Sead Kolasinac is going to prove himself to be not only one of this windows best signings but one of the club's most important in a very, very long time.