After the maddest month of deals ever, our friends at Football Whispers rate the defender as the ultimate bargain
This summer was a transfer window when transfer fees went astronomical across Europe.
£198million for Neymar to join Paris Saint-Germain, £105million for Ousmane Dembélé to replace him at Barcelona and a £166million future deal agreed for Kylian Mbappé to join Neymar in the French capital.
Everyone’s value jumped up and clubs could then hike up their own asking price.
Anyone who made early deals looked incredibly smart. Moves like Mohamed Salah to Liverpool for £35million, and even Manchester United’s £75m swoop for Romelu Lukaku, instantly seem like bargains.
However, after his amazing start to life at the Emirates, Football Whispers believe that Sead Kolasinac moving to Arsenal is the signing of the summer.
The 23-year-old defender joined the Gunners from German side Schalke for absolutely nothing.
Labelled “The Bosnian Tank”, he was out of contract with the Bundesliga side and, after interest from Tottenham Hotspur and other clubs, he decided to make Arsenal his next home.
Kolasinac has already shown he is able to play at both centre-back and left-back, making him the ideal component for Arsene Wenger’s 3-4-2-1.
Just four games into the new season and he looks born to play in the left wing-back position and has brought a new dimension to the Gunners.
As well as contributing at both ends of the field, it’s his impact on the physical side of the game that has stood out. No longer are Arsenal a soft-touch across the pitch. Kolasinac has added a snarl and a bite to the North London side.
“I think it was a good opportunity in Germany because we knew he was at the end of his contract,” admitted Wenger after landing the Bosnia international.
“Watching him, I thought he had the quality. I met him and he had a good spirit and a good attitude, so basically overall it was a no-brainer for us.
“It is a nice bargain because it allows you to divide your buy by two, when you buy two players. The price of one you buy you can divide by two, because one player for £50million is two players of £25million.”
Without being a dirty player, Kolasinac is strong and dominating. He is aggressive and uses his body to both keep and win possession.
Adding the 23-year-old has given the Gunners an ability to fight and scrap when taking on the tougher English clubs, an area they have struggled with in the past.
“Maybe he is the strongest, he is naturally strong,” Wenger said when asked about the benefits of his new signing compared to previous players he has managed. “He uses quite well the strength of his body without violence and when he intervenes it doesn’t look to be a foul, he just uses his body strength. It is an important quality to help adapt to the Premier League.”
Arsenal fans were quickly behind the new man when he popped up with a goal on his debut in the Community Shield.
The defender ghosting in at the back post to equalise late against Chelsea. His new side went on to win the trophy on penalties.
Against Leicester City in the 4-3 comeback win he found himself deep inside the penalty area to square the ball to Danny Welbeck to make it 2-2.
Dropped for the 4-0 away defeat to Liverpool, it was no surprise to see him back in for the win over Bournemouth. His perfect cross headed in, again by Welbeck.
On Thursday night, Arsenal were struggling to get past Cologne, but the introduction of the Bosnian made a huge impact.
His powerful volley equalled the score and his presence, drive and physicality brought the Gunners back into the match, helping them pick up an important 3-1 win.
Kolasinac’s impact has been priceless so far for Wenger’s team and the fact he didn’t cost them a penny in transfer fees, in such an inflated market, makes him one of the signings of the summer.
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