Who is Sead Kolasinac, and what kind of a player are Arsenal getting?


Reports suggest that Arsenal have already finalised their first signing ahead of the new season, bringing in Bosnian left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke.

But what are Arsenal going to get? What kind of player is he, and how will he fit into the Gunners current set-up.

Lewis Ambrose reports.

In Sead Kolasinac, Arsenal are on the brink of a very encouraging start to the summer transfer window.

A young left-back was a target last summer but Arsenal were too busy with other positions to make it a priority. This year, though, Nacho Monreal’s form has been in decline and it does appear to be time to find the long-term solution.

The most striking thing about Kolasinac is his sheer size. Six feet tall and incredibly stocky, the Bosnian doesn’t look much like a fullback. However, his size hardly slows him down and he is good on the ball; at times he can be inefficient and look a little unclean in possession but is so physically dominant that he can make up for errors routinely.

This season he has excelled as a wing-back when Schalke have fielded a back five. A license to push forward brought the best out of him: the 23-year-old has scored three and assisted five goals in 21 Bundesliga appearances this campaign.

With three centre-backs behind him for the majority of the season, the Bosnian has had freedom not just to surge forward on the ball but also to defend aggressively, a luxury he won’t quite be afforded with Arsenal. Arsenal’s defence is mostly young and there are valid concerns that there could be an imbalance with him and Hector Bellerin on the flanks.

Kolasinac can also play as a more traditional left-back, though, with Schalke’s recent reversion to a back four having no impact on his form until injury ruled him out for the last couple of weeks.

On the plus side, Kolasinac has also been used as a centre-back in the past. Though he likes to attack the ball he can sit a little deeper and certainly has the mentality to mature and choose his moments if that is what the team requires.

Another concern further down the line may be fitness. Despite his youth, Kolasinac has already suffered a serious injury, ruled out for over five months after rupturing his cruciate ligament in 2014. Encouragingly, he has seldom had fitness troubles in the two-and-a-bit years since his return.

Despite reports he rejected Everton and Milan for Arsenal, the defender has also been linked with Juventus, Chelsea, and Manchester City in recent months.

On a free transfer, albeit with a big wage and a significant signing-on fee, this looks like it will be a fantastic deal in a position Arsenal badly needed to strengthen in the near future.

Arsenal will not be using Kolasinac in the role he has been so impressive in this year but he certainly has the right attributes to become the club’s first choice left-back for the foreseeable future.

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As promising as he sounds, I can’t get excited considering we seem to play with no coherent defensive set up at all.


Tim Stillman said it perfectly last night:
“Kolasinac’s Arsenal career foretold
– Start well
– slowly exposed by AFC wide open system
– Form / confidence dips
– Everyone says he’s shit”

The Loon Ranger

Any good news is welcome right now and getting a Bosnian on a Bosnan is quite good. But we still need puppies Blogs at ever so

The Loon Ranger

Or even “ta ever so “


Fuck it’s so sad but that’s so spot on..

Romford Pelé

We sign a player in a position we need, even before the window, who hasn’t even played a game and all you lot do is moan like fuck. I’m more sick of the complaining than the shitty form right now zzzzzzzzzzzzz


best coaches in the world plays with formation that suits the players they have like how conte changed the formation to get the best out of his players. but le professuer here plays with the same formation for 10 years and says players to adapt to his formation, resulting in dispointed system and loads of underperforming players.

the point being this guy here has been trained to play as a wingback and playing him as a fullback is only gonna expose him , just like how xhaka is being right now.


But haven’t Barcelona been playing 4-3-3 for what- 25 years? Longer? The best players adapt to the system as long as the system is good. Our issue is that our system is no good anymore. Wenger hasn’t adapted to the increased defensiveness of modern football. Ergo we struggle to score as often but on top of that our defence is as weak as it’s ever been.
I’d argue that Conte actually imposed a modern system on his players at Chelsea rather than building a system around them. Sp*rs have done the same. Wenger is being left behind.

I’ve gone off topic a bit. Sounds like a decent signing anyway, although I think Monreal’s form is looking better lately.


i presume you dont watch barca games , if you’de been you would know that although they predominatly plays with 433 they play a range of other formations , the latest one being 3-3-1-3 which they used to beat psg in a recent match


We are not Barcelona. Only they can do such a thing because they have the ability to sign the best players for the system. Every player in the world dreams of playing for Barca or Madrid and they can afford to pay any transfer fees and wages to get that player. Not to mention a big majorly of their squad actually came up through their youth system. La Masia is by far the most impressive youth academy and the way the players are brought up to play and behave the Barca way really is outstanding. When they talk about Barca DNA it ain’t no joke!


you dont need to be barca to play football with different formations , and we certainly dont need messi and neymar to play in that system . there are plenty of other players


While I completely agree that the current isn’t working, but I feel the criticism behind not using 5 at the back is a little harsh.
While 5 at the back seems to be the key, it essentially cuts off the wingers from the team, or the CM.
This season, Walcott has,statistically, been a very very crucial player for the team. By putting 5 at the back you’re bidding goodbye to the second highest goalscorer for the club. That also cuts off the playing opportunities for really effective fringe players like Giroud, Iwobi, Welbeck.
If to counter this problem,we play Chelsea’s formation, then that cuts out Ozil who,when fit, HAS to play for the team.With less defensive responsibility, he will always be a threat.
For leftwing back we would have Monreal. Who isn’t pacy enough to play that advance role with getting exposed several times.
And holding, though one of the brightest centre back prospect, is still in his development stages. So putting him under the Spotlight will not be fair.
Our other option is Gabriel, who’s communication problem will always make him a liability.

Maybe next season we get a manager and the required players in order to tweak our formation into something more effective.
But this season, 5 at the back, didn’t seem like the formation for the team.


Ozil will fit in perfectly as the 1 in a 3-4-1-2 formation which is still a 3-4-3.. but we don’t do tactics here. Just play


im not saying we should play 3 at the back. if the current system is not working we should try something that suits our players whatever it may be . for instance even though we have choke full of players that excels in a midfield three including xhaka, ramsey, ox wenger still plays with same formation from 10 years ago. these players in previous clubs or at international level have proved that they are better suited in a midfield three . one advantage of this formation is that we will have more players in midfield , so midfield wont be so open which is exactly what has been wrong with this arsenal this season . so many goals conceded through counter attacks or a simple pass through the middle . alas stubborn wenger wont change.


But he did! Are you willing to give him a little credit?

Hector\'s Ballerina

Sorry but that’s BS about wingers being cut off from the team, or indeed from central midfielders. Try telling Kante that he’s cut off from either full back or Hazard/Pedro/Willian in their formation. Or Pjanic from Alex Sandro/Dani Alves.

furthermore Juve, who alternate between a variation of 3 at the back, 3-5-2 and a more recent utilisation of a 4-2-3-1, also seem to manage to play two attacking forwards in Mandzukic and Higuain in both formations, with Dybala playing in the whole. Surely a role that would suit Özil down to the ground?

Cant bleat and say a formation won’t possibly work without trying it. I don’t think 3 at the back is the answer mid-season either, but Wenger has had many years to devise alternative solutions/formations tactically and plenty of pre seasons to implement them. I have no doubt the current squad has the flexibility, capability and talent to adapt this Summer, given the opportunity. It could even liberate many of them who I feel could be better suited (Mustafi, Sanchez, Özil, Bellerin, maybe Xhaka too) Unfortunately I think we all know with Wenger in charge this is never likely to be realised…


Our fullbacks play as Wing backs anyways so he’d fit right in. As promising as he sounds, would we really be in for him if he wasn’t on a free transfer? And is he good enough to be first choice next season because Gibbs and Montreal (for different reasons) aren’t good enough at the moment and that left flank is so clearly our weak point. I don’t have a star to back this up but if you look at the goals we conceded this season I’d say probably 70% of them came from the left. I think Monreal is so lucky he has kocienly next to him otherwise it may have looked much worse. So unless we’re selling both Gibbs and Monreal and signing a more established left back then this isn’t the signing we need.

I don’t care what people say, Monreal is nowhere near good enough to be Arsenal left back, I know he had a good season last season but that was the exception rather than the rule. His lack of pace forces him either to make rash tackles or keep moving back till the player gets to the box which at that point it’s so much more riskier to make a tackle so the player is either able to have a shot or whip a cross in. Over and over again. Last game they were saying Monreal had a good game. Look at the first two goals we conceded and tell me he’s wasn’t at fault for them.


Or maybe he was purchased with an eye towards playing with 3 CBs.


burly leftback?

we are having our own stuart pearce? julian dicks?

Dark Arts

Get a tall skinny one for a giraffe.


As long as he’s not Andre Santos!

Don Cazorleone

Can’t wait for Mike Dean and Co. to book him for every tackle he makes. You can’t possibly be a strong tackler in this league unless you play for Stoke, then the refs don’t care cos they just ‘want it more’.


Sorry to be so negative, but I can’t get excited about any new signing while we still have the same man in charge, because the outcome will be the same.

Toure motors

Fully agree. We have ozil and Alexis, who are amongst the best 20 footballers in the world, and a manager who is failing to get any kind of performance from them that matches their talent. Adding another potentially highly talented footballer will not change anything


Wiki says he can play as a defensive midfielder as well although it doesn’t Surat that he had played in that position for Schalke. If he is versatile as reported, it can only be a positive.

Crash Fistfight

Yes, but how tall is he?


Not necessarily. I’ve never seen anything from this player so I can’t speak about him but we have too many players like Ramsey Ox and wilshere who can play in many positions but aren’t specialists in either. It’s time to stop dicking around and sign specialists.

Me So Hornsey

Well as is the pre-requisite, I watched a clip of you tube so that I could see everything I need to know about the guy. He looks very physically imposing, loves a tackle and can put in a very decent cross and also not afraid to square up to opponents. A bit of a beast. Not incredible technically but good touch. Good pace. No nonsense player. I got all this insightful info from 4 mins of video footage.


I have seen every game from him this season (except for those with Bosnia), but I really can not add anything significant to the spot-on analysis you made with the help of a 4 minute clip.

Youtube seems to be more helpful for the analysis of young players than I thought.


Selective footage no less!

Arsenal Fan Long Time
Arsenal Fan Long Time

Did you think they’d put any of his mistakes in a 4 minute video? He may be a great player, who knows but C’MON???! You must be king of the arm chair coaches with that observation.
Wow!… I saw that bloke score a phenomenal goal… once… ??
That’s Olivier G’s big problem he’s good for 1/4 of a game every 7 or 8 games but most of the time he’s on the field he’s so busy being greedy he hurts the game.
Long and short…4 minutes isn’t enough time to evaluate anyone…especially when it’s a highlight reel…


You guys don’t get it

Kwame Ampadu Down

Arsenal Fan Long Time. Capable of understanding sarcasm not so Long Time.


Plot twist: we bought him to replace Sanchez on the left. #Aha

Lula da Gilberto

Plot twist, actually he is our new director of football.


Play the ball and focus on the player we seem likely to be buying. He looks young, strong, good, and a free transfer! Whats not to like? Lets leave the Arsene Wenger managerial discussion to those other threads.

planet ape

exacto mato!

Arsene\'s Nose

The description makes me think of a young Ivanovic! Can only be a good thing.


He’ll fit right in, in the treatment room. Monreal’s dwindling form? He’s been one of the more consistent performers or maybe you missed his recall to Spain’s national side.


Not sure if you’ve been watching, but monreal has had a pretty poor season. So I would say dwindling is an accurate statement.


Look forward to seeing him on the right of the front three then 😉



Oh No Not Again

He sounds good just depends on who else we buy we certainly need more than one player to strenghten the side. I hope we will spend the 200 million on other decent players if there really is 200 million to spend.


Unlikely 🤓🍆


Looks like he’ll have the raw ingredients to make a decent left back under Wenger with potential to be great under a better coach or system. Win win

Lord Bendtner

Arsenal: “You call that an injury record? Don’t make me laugh!”


I don’t understand why everybody thinks versality is a good quality. We need players that are the best in one position, not players that are average in many.


We call him bosnian Hulk…no nonsene player…just what Arsenal need

Liam Pirosicastle

I recall thinking the same about Xhaka :V


So that will be the main problem for him, because he played with 3 at back with Schalke in Arsenal he will play leftback in formation with 4 at back. He is very good defender in my opinion, but just like Bellerin he will be too high up the pitch leaving centerbacks exposed. With no “real” defensive mid. and wrong setup by manager we will see the same problems like every season. Can’t wait to see our centerbacks look like amateurs again -.-

Arsenal Fan Long Time
Arsenal Fan Long Time

Barca played very successfully with a Rightback and or leftback that moved up for years along with many other teams… it’s the Midfield that has to be strong to enable that type of a situation. Can Arsenal support that type of player?? I think that comes down to the coach. Wenger isn’t the coach for that kind of team. It’s quite silly to blame the player being up because the Midfield and the Defence arent handling a situation that they should have a working system in place to use.


I saw that Sead Kolasinac against Bayern and the way he handled Robben and co, had me rooting for him as a typical Arsenal type full back, hoping we signed him up. Since then, I have watched most games involving Schalke 04. Sead Kolasinac is as consistent as they come and ripe for the step up. He is hard as nails, pacy, skillful and never shirks any opportunity to bomb forward with intent (hence his high Assist count for a defender). I feel he will fit right in and I am excited, if this turns out to be true.


Does anyone know how much he should earn at Arsenal?


What does that matter? He’s young, not achieved much, has time ahead and is currently on £35, 000 a week. Pay him a fair wage, say £65k-£75k/week, seeing as he comes free.


Well in the article is written “On a free transfer, albeit with a big wage and a significant signing-on fee,…” so I was wandering how BIG is his wage.

Origianl Paul

Having looked at the Youtube clips I have to say he looks a bit shit! 🙁

dr Strange

Seldom fitness troubles… Welcome to the Arsenal 😀

Arsenal Fan Long Time
Arsenal Fan Long Time

Ha ha…he never ever hurts himself ..even when he’s tripping over his own two feet!! Let’s keep him!! Ha ha he he he

Arsenal Fan Long Time
Arsenal Fan Long Time

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Gran Xakh

Sounds very promising. Particularly his physicality and supposed bloody mindedness which is severely lacking in our current group of players.


Anyone seen the player wearing the Arsenal shirt or a confirmation from the club?
Of course not.
Has history not taught you people anything?


Again, he isn’t that good. Mendy and Ghoulam are much better options. This is us trying to be cheap as always. Only way this will be justified is if we make big moves this summer. But how will we attract players without the ucl?


Managerial (and boardroom) fiasco aside, if we can get what sounds like a promising left back for free, allowing us to use the infamous war chest to strengthen elsewhere, you won’t have too many complaints from me

Lula da Gilberto

I was going to say that it is welcome news but ultimately does nothing to stem this bad feeling I have everytime I think of Arsenal owing to the situation the club is in with the owners, their incompetent lapdogs, and Arsene.

… but a quick perusal over the comments leads me to think I’m preaching to the choir. The Arsenal fan-base seems to be divided less and less.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Is he, isn’t he, will he, won’t he and so forth. I care not a fig. What I do know is he has good hair and good hair is imperative. Sign him!

Bendtner\'s Ego

Is it wise to have an Albanian and a Bosnian on same team?


His a Bosnian HULK.

Takes no prisoners.

Able to play right across the backline and as a DM if need be.

You can see what Wenger is thinking.

I think we were also linked to Arda Turan who is 30yrs and maybe a stop gap insurance if we cannot find other targets (and even so).

He plays predominantly wing(right) but could also be re-roled into deep midfield like Santi to hold the ball better for us next to Granit.

Looks like Wenger is expanding options in what is our weak point this season midfield.

These players are versatile and have utility in several areas.

Interesting with the ‘wing back’ role for Kolasinac…

I mentioned after Palace that we may have to take stock and re think our tactical arrangements.

Chelsea are essentially the same team that did so poorly last season but following the defeat to us early in season, Conte re-jigged the team with wing backs and got the best out of the players on hand.

I mentioned we may also benefit from a 3-4-2-1


This will afford more protection for Monreal.

It will also allow Bellerin more license to push forward without having to burden Mustafi to cover right and drag away from the centre.

It also means more presence covering the central area for knock downs

Ozil and Alexis (free role)will then be mobile pivots to play the wing backs in whilst someone like Iwobi can pick through the middle knowing Granit has 3 behind him.

Kolasinac could easily be in the Ox position and you could also see say Turan filling in in the Iwobi role holding the ball for us in tight confines but also threading through the middle.

Its one option. Cos we can also go 4-2-3-1 but options are good and we need to in essence be more commanding in the middle.

That Kolosinac is 23yrs is also another indication. We need players between 23-27yrs now. NO projects. We have sufficient latent talent. What we need is a bit of grit and experience.

I think the concern now is we may miss CL spot and our position in the market will be more difficult (not to mention the key players may leave if they do not feel we match their appetites.

It is good Wenger is addressing this situation early.

IMO, I would keep MOnreal for one more season, have Bramall on loan to develop and take stock end of next season. Gibbs I’d listen to offers for.

As a free transfer, again it demonstrates Wenger’s strength with market acumen. He now has to be pushed by the board to add sufficient quality.

I would think if Turan say is signed, he won’t cost much (maybe 20m max) and we have sufficient capacity to add at least 3 more players.

I’d still like to see a Fabinho from Monaco (likely close to 30m) to further add options in the middle (and height) Also maybe if we have to lose say Ozil to PSG, maybe see if we can get a Draxler on loan with option to buy, then maybe one more surprise winger to replace Walcott wide (and if Perez leaves). Of course there is also Campbell to consider. That bloke Halilovic may be interesting.


Technical players with grit and experience. That’s what we need.

Matt P

My wishlist for signings (relatively realistic ones):

Verratti or Koke


You talkin about your FIFA career mode?


I think everyone has been wanting a true defensive midfielder who sole aim to protect the back 4.

Anurag Meharia

I feel that we need to completely overhaul the team on and off the field. It should start from the removal of the manager and also the lazy farts on the field..

Matt P

In other news Wilshere was pretty average against Spurs.
Average player


We can be all as excited as we want, but if the current manager stays anyone who arrives will end up with the same results, disappointment


Looks like a good signing but Wenger out still


The formation that’ll be best considering this new signing is playing 3 CB, bellerin will play much better as right wingback. Play Xhaka as holding mid, Ozil in front with Sanchez and ox on either side, Welbz up front.


Speaking as a Schalke fan, Kolasinac will bring to Arsenal something which apart from Sanchez most players seem to lack, namely huge desire and fighting spirit. He’s been a regular in Schalke’s line up since 2014 and performed well as a wing back as well as a conventional left back. Finally, his physicality and build fit the premier league perfectly, so overall there’s grounds for plenty of optimism for you Arsenal fans!


Thanks for the affirmation, Jon. As I stated somewhere, previously, since seeing him make Robben look ineffective in a game vs Bayern this season, I have rooted for him to be the man to replace Monreal (he will be ahead of Monreal, in my view, in any case). He is physical, tracks back quickly and is dangerous going forward. He has balls, for want of a better word. Not this shower we currently have wearing the shirt.


Am i the only one to see his injury record? Exact Arsenal player

Wright on the money

He is going to AC Milan not Arsenal anyway so it doesn’t matter how good or not he is.


Arsenal won’t be using him in his preferred role?? What role will he be playing then?


Hate pointing out the obvious but someone has got to do it. This article was posted about a month ago, Wenger was yet to make the tactical switch. At the moment, he walks into the team blindfolded, with the current defensive setup. It’s funnt how things can change in a month

Samuel Ogungbayi

Go on a spending spree like a drunken sailor and buy the best players on planet earth! Loose training regime as confirmed by Galas and Vierra,tactitical ineptitude that translated to tactical rigidity, inability to read games and micromanage matches will NOT translate to ARSENAL SUCCESS if WENGER stays as manager .
Mark my words .


Just saw a 2016/17 skills /assists video of this guy. Now I am worried about his passing ability. Forget about Monreal, will he be better than Gibbs? Gibbs at least had good off-the ball movement :/


Oops! posted on the wrong page


Not sure you can say monreal’s form was “declining” tbh. Played his part in a shit back 4 but I’d say he was arguably our most consistent defender all season.