English Premier League

Arsenal confirm their first summer signing: Can he elevate them to greater heights?

Arsenal announced their first summer signing after bringing in Sead Kolašinac on a free transfer as he let his contract run out at Schalke. The 23-year-old has been signed on a deal which is worth £7.5m a year. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international has signed a five-year contract which ties him at the Emirates till the summer of 2022. The Gunners successfully wrapped up the deal despite interest from Chelsea, Juventus and Manchester City.

The left-back is perhaps one of the major signings of the summer and with his versatility to play anywhere across the back, offers Arsene Wenger an added option and flexibility of selection.

Sead Kolašinac is known for his defensive ability and is a conventional left-back who is known to come out on top with his tackles most of the time. His imposing frame and aggressive yet intelligent play make it difficult for the opposite number to get through the wings.

In addition to that, he is also excellent in the air which will lend Arsenal more aerial security during set-pieces. Despite his good physical build and being over 6ft. he is fairly quick and loves to challenge the opposition winger for the ball.

He is also pretty good offensively. After nailing down the left-back spot for Schalke from Chelsea loanee Baba Rahman, Kolašinac had contributed with 3 goals and 7 assists in all competitions. He can also easily play in a wing-back role which he did at Schalke after they switched to a 3-5-2 formation. His good work-rate allows him to get back into position when his team are on the wrong end of a counter-attack.

With his ability, he attracted interest from many clubs in Europe but Arsene Wenger is said to have personally persuaded him to join the Gunners.

He was initially criticised for his offensive play but he has worked on it and improved a lot. Not only had he successfully established himself as one of the most offensive threats for Schalke with his ability to get beyond opposition players but he has also done really well and improved his crossing a lot.

Sead Kolašinac can also play as a defensive midfielder and if he hits the ground running he will easily compete with Xhaka or Gibbs for a first team spot. The defender has managed to remain fairly injury free since his cruciate ligament injury in 2014.

The Bosnian has a lot of room for improvement and Arsenal fans will be hoping that he turns out to be a long-term player for the team.

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Yash Shah

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