Sead Kolašinac is in negotiations with Arsenal to terminate his contract by mutual consent, according to Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur. If successful, he’d likely sign on a free transfer with Fenerbahçe, reuniting him with friend and former Arsenal teammate Mesut Özil. Kolašinac spent the second half of last season on loan at his former club Schalke, who were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in 33 seasons.
Regardless of whether he and Arsenal terminate his contract or the Gunners sell him for a minimal fee, the writing is on the wall for Kolašinac in North London. Arsenal signed Nuno Tavares to back up Kieran Tierney at left back, pushing Kolašinac to third, at best, on the depth chart. And last season, Mikel Arteta preferred an out-of-position Cedric Soares as left back cover, as evidenced by Kolašinac’s loan.
Kolašinac’s physicality and raw strength gave us some memorable moments in an Arsenal shirt. The oft-overused phrase “marauding run” might as well have been coined to describe him. Sead doesn’t run so much as he powers down the pitch, sometimes going around, usually going through defenders. But ultimately, he lacks the precision and technical ability to thrive in Mikel Arteta’s system, especially when it comes to crossing / cutback accuracy.
Aside: it’s mildly amusing to me to write about how professional footballers, who would dribble and dispossess me in their sleep, “lack...precision and technical ability” but here we are. And it’s mildly terrifying to write that about Sead Kolašinac, who could easily snap me in half like a twig. Fortunately, I don’t think he’s a regular TSF reader.
Arsenal still have a good deal of business to do in the transfer window, especially in terms of outgoings. And when you add the salaries of guys like Kolašinac, Lucas Torreira, Mohamed Elneny, and (fingers crossed) Willian coming off the books, it adds up. I don’t think all of those guys move this transfer window, but freeing up £100K per week here, £190K there sums out to a decent chunk of change to spend. To put it in perspective, Kolašinac is on £5.2M a season — that’s most of what Arsenal paid to acquire Nuno Tavares.