With the transfer window now wide open, rumours are a rife at who is moving where and for how much. Focus On is a feature Sport Thought will be carrying out throughout the transfer market as we get to know some of the possible big money movers this summer.
Arsenal have confirmed that they will sign Schalke defender Sead Kolasinac from Schalke on a long-term deal after his contract at the German club expired.
The 23-year-old left-back will become Arsenal’s first signing of the summer after beating off interest from the likes of Champions League finalists Juventus and Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City, Antonio Conte’s side saw an approach for the Bosnian turned down in January.
Kolasinac is a versatile defender, who can also play as a centre-back and is an ideal player for the new 3-4-3 formation Arsene Wenger implemented to his side at the back end of the season just gone.
Standing at over 6ft, Kolasinac is tall for a left back defender and although doesn’t possess blistering pace, still likes to push forward and create opportunities for his team. During last season’s Bundesliga, Kolasinac created an impressive 23 chances for Schalke, who finished in a disappointing 10th place, he also contributed eight assists and scored three times.
Kolasinac is a strong physical presence on the pitch and is impressively consistent in winning one on one duels, last season he won an impressive 56% of headed duels whilst he won just under half of his overall one on one individual match ups.
Born in Germany, Kolasinac represented Die Mannschaft at a youth level ranging from the under-18 side right through to the under-20’s. In 2013, Kolasinac announced that he would switch allegiances to Bosnia, with his parents being Bosnian and shortly after finalising the switch, Kolasinac was called-up to the Bosnian national side and made his debut during a 2-0 friendly defeat to Argentina.
Kolasinac has played for a number of different sides during his short career up to date, Arsenal will be his fifth after beginning his youth career at home town club Karlsruher before having spells in the Hoffenhiem and Stuttgart academies, Schalke signed him in 2011.
The Bosnian began his professional career playing for Schalke II, who ply their trade in the lower German leagues, after a season in the academy. After impressing during his first season there, Kolasinac was promoted to the senior side and had been a mainstay in the team after making his debut in 2012.
Despite being only 23 years of age, Kolasinac has amounted over 100 appearances for his former side and received 18 caps for his country, including two appearances at the 2014 World Cup. Kolasinac does however hold an unwanted record, his own goal in Bosnia’s 2-1 defeat to Argentina during the group stage of the tournament, stands as the fastest own goal in World Cup history.
Check out some of Sead Kolasinac’s best bits from the 16/17 season here: