By Sir Hardly Anyone
Yes I will admit it; I have been saying that all the stuff about transfer rumours is rubbish given that there are round about 76 days to go before the transfer window creaks open and something of the order of 137 days before it slams shut and shatters into bits again. Besides with the future of Mr Wenger unknown how can the club be continuing with negotiations?
Of course the fact that we have signed a player – and indeed a young up and coming player of note – shows that I know nothing, but then everyone knew that anyway. Even so, given the circumstances, I still think it is quite remarkable. I’d say it points to Mr Wenger staying.
So in case you ain’t heard yet, Arsenal have signed Sead Kolašinac (note the accent); he will transfer on 1 July. What is particularly interesting is that just as with Lucas Pérez, Everton, currently endlessly talking about how they have managed the deal of the century over their stadium, and how they are on the up overall, (rather than on the down, which is what new stadia normally offer), have been pipped at the post.
There has indeed been a lot of chatter about Kolašinac going to Everton, just as there was with Lucas, but in the end Arsenal just strolled in and got their man. At least that is what the “sources” say. The Guardian has it along with quite a few other places, although the Telegraph’s top Arsenal story is that Tottenham supporters are trying to find a phrase to equate to St Totteringham’s day. Big news indeed. So big you have to pay to read the article.
Anyway, Kolašinac was going to Everton on a free at the end of his contract in the summer with Schalke, and was in “advanced talks” – which probably means they had got past exchanging names and pointing out that they are currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of them last winning the league and the 22nd anniversary of last winning the FA Cup.
Arsenal, it is said, got their man by the complex and unusual ploy of offering more money to the player, just as they did with Lucas. What an underhand trick – especially since the media have been telling us forever that Arsenal lose players because we don’t pay them enough.
Milan and Chelsea were also interested, and the Guardian calls the players decision “somewhat surprising” because of the situation of Arsène Wenger. But as a right back he plays in a position where it has looked as if a newcomer could help a lot to give the team more balance on the two sides of the pitch.
What is also interesting is that Arsenal moved this past year to a policy of taking up all 25 places on their Premier League rosta, while virtually every other club has stuck to the idea of holding just 21 or 22 registered players (forced upon them because of their lack of “home grown” players to take up the spare places. It looks like Arsenal’s policy of bringing through “home grown” youth players is going to continue, allowing cover for injuries and cover for loss of form and a full squad of 25.
Kolašinac was born in Germany, and played for Germany at Under-18, 19 and 20 level before moving country and playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina, where his parents were born. He has played for them 23 times.
He is 23 years old and here is his playing record:
|2012–2015||Schalke 04 II||8||2|
|2013–||Bosnia and Herzegovina||18||0|
He played his first game in the Bundesliga on 15 September 2012, and his first Champions League game in December 2012, and made his debut for Bosnia on 18 November 2013. His current contract was signed in June 2013 and then extended to end this summer.
As for injuries, which is what always excites the media when a new player is signed, in 2014 he tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee and was out for around six months.
According to Wiki (or what the bloggettas call “reports”) he can play across the back line, and has regularly played not only as a centre back, but also a left back. This sort of flexibility is of course incredibly helpful in covering for injuries and loss of form. He is described as “physically strong and tough in his physique, clever defensively on the pitch and defensively consistent in winning one-on-one duels against his opponents.”
Last season he played 20 league games and scored three goals in the league, with another ten appearances in the German cup and Europe.