The 23-year-old Bosnian international will sign for Arsenal when his contract with Schalke expires, but in what set-up will he play?
Sead Kolasinac will join Arsenal when his contract with Schalke expires this summer.
The 23-year-old Bosnia international has agreed a five-year contract with the Gunners after they beat Manchester City, AC Milan and Everton to his signature, as first revealed by Goal almost a month ago.
Kolasinac is a highly-rated left-back who has taken the Bundesliga by storm this season, providing five assists and scoring three goals for the Gelsenkirchen giants in the league while also impressing during their Europa League campaign.
But where exactly does he fit in at Arsenal? With Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs and Cohen Bramall the most natural left-backs currently at the club, Goal has taken a look at where Kolasinac could play for the Gunners next season.
Also able to play at centre-half or in defensive midfield, Kolasinac’s arrival at Arsenal will boost their options in defence where it is likely he will compete with Nacho Monreal for the left-back spot. Kieran Gibbs is likely to depart with his contract expiring next summer.
Kolasinac is 6ft with a stocky build but deceives many with his marauding runs down the left and physical dominance whenever he comes up against an opposing winger. He’s attracted interest from a host of top European clubs this season, though is likely to have been persuaded to join the Gunners after Arsene Wenger spoke to the Bosnian personally.
He suffered a cruciate ligament injury in 2014 but has generally remained injury free throughout his short career so far and played with a mask on for several weeks due to a facial injury.
The former Stuttgart youth player is an intelligent defender with plenty of room to improve and will likely endear himself to the Arsenal supporters with his gritty work ethic and aggressive form of defending and attacking.
“You have to get stuck in now and then,” explained the left-back. “My role is to stop the opposition scoring.”
Kolasinac’s biggest strengths are his tackling and tendency to almost always win the ball when he slides in. It’s difficult for wingers to play against him because he’s powerful, strong and surprisingly quick when you factor in his physically imposing frame. Last season the consensus was that Kolasinac needed to improve his attacking play. He has done that with aplomb, and with seven assists and three goals he is one of Schalke’s top attacking threats this season. His crossing has improved, but, despite the improvement in his offensive abilities, there is no doubt that his chief qualities lie in defence more than attack.
It’s likely that Kolasinac will play on the left-hand side with Hector Bellerin in the right wing-back role next season, meaning a defence of Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Rob Holding is certainly possible.