Back in the summer transfer window of 2017, Arsenal sealed a deal to bring left-back Sead Kolasinac to the Emirates Stadium on a free transfer.
The 25-year-old had been playing his football at Bundesliga outfit Schalke having come up through the ranks and began his professional career at the German side, only to opt against renewing his contract with the club back in May of last year, which prompted former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to lure him to North London.
And, unsurprisingly, his arrival stimulated quite a reaction from Arsenal supporters on Twitter, with several delighted and indeed excited to see the Bosnia international in action for their side…
— Haz (@Belleriniesta) June 6, 2017
When tanks need protection they put Kolasinac in front of the armour. Anti-tank tank-. #welcomekolasinac
— kiyaawe flava (@Kiyaawe) June 6, 2017
Welcome to the biggest club in London #WelcomeKolasinac
— (@lmaowain) June 6, 2017
#WelcomeKolasinac Best LB in the premier league
— Sam Uddin (@Officialelsamo) June 6, 2017
Welcome Seo! Can’t wait to see you wearing the Arsenal colours soon & hopefully you win many trophies here! #WelcomeKolasinac
— Pádraig (@afcpadraig) June 6, 2017
Welcome to the world’s biggest banter club, you beast. Kola kolaaa..
— Sir Jenkinson (@theEpicGooner) June 6, 2017
#WelcomeKolasinac PLAY FOR THE NAME ON THE FRONT OF THE SHIRT AND THEY WILL REMEMBER THE NAME ON THE BACK.
— Colonel Mustafi (@ColonelMustafi_) June 6, 2017
Yet, while there have been glimpses of brilliance from the left back during his at the Emirates Stadium, he doesn’t appear to have lived up the 2017 expectations of those Gunners fans.
Ultimately, Kolasinac came to English football as a very highly-rated left back who looked set to add a great deal of power and strength to a flagging Arsenal backline, and he certainly did that at times last season in netting twice and laying on four assists in 27 Premier League appearances for Wenger’s side.
Yet all but one of those contributions came before Christmas to suggest that, while he adapted seamlessly to the demands of the Premier League, he clearly tailed off as the campaign drew to a close – in fact, he wasn’t even a regular starter post the January transfer window.
And that may be a result of his difficulties defensively in the left back role, as although he clearly added something going forward with his strength and driving runs, the 25-year-old often struggled in the defensive aspect of the game, with wingers frequently getting the better of him.
As a wing back, Kolasinac showed real promise at times last season, but as part of a back four in a more natural left back role, things weren’t so good – Nacho Monreal is arguably a better option in that particular position.
And with a knee injury sustained during pre-season having kept him out so far this term, and likely to keep him on the sidelines for a few more weeks yet, it doesn’t look as though the 25-year-old will be able to live up to those lofty 2017 expectations anytime soon.
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