Arsenal may well have pulled off one of the transfer coups of the season in the form of free transfer Sead Kolasinac. The 24-year-old defender was superb in Sunday’s Community Shield victory over Premier League Champions Chelsea.
The talented defender came off the bench to replace Per Mertesacker early in the first-half, with the big German having suffered a nasty looking facial injury after clashing with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
Kolasinac, who is normally a left-back, slotted into Arsenal’s three man defence and performed excellently. He was rock solid defensively and then popped up with the late equalising goal from a Granit Xhaka free-kick on 82 minutes to make himself an instant-hero with the Gunner’s faithful.
Arsenal’s summer signing was born in Germany to Bosnian parents. He began his career with his home-town club Kalsruhe, before moving to 1899 Hoffenheim and then Vfb Stuggart. In 2010 he joined Schalke, going on to make 94 appearances for the German side. Last season his form was so impressive that he was voted into the Bundesliga team of the year, despite his side struggling for large parts of the season and eventually finishing tenth.
In these days of crazy transfers fees, signing a player of the Bosnia international’s pedigree is a superb piece of business by Arsenal. The stockily-built defender does not have the look of your average Arsene Wenger signing, and you suspect he may become a cult figure at the club, not since the days of Martin Keown has such a no-nonsense defender been seen at the Emirates.
Wenger drew much criticism last week for his comments regarding allowing star players to run down their contracts and leave on a free, but it seems in the case of Kolasinac the experienced French manager has used a player being out of contract to his advantage and after the Bosnians display on Sunday few can disagree.
Check out our brand new Premier League Podcast – Subscribe on iTunes and never miss an episode!