Arsenal brought in Kieran Tierney to start, but with health, Sead Kolasinac has the ability to keep his competitor on the bench.
Arsenal is no stranger to injuries robbing them of talent that could change things. Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla. It’s widespread. So Sead Kolasinac may have it hard trying to fit into such esteemed company. But he really shouldn’t.
With health, Sead Kolasinac is a top-notch player. The kind of guy that changes things. Need I remind everyone that last year, before getting hurt, he was top of the ‘player of the year’ race. He was simply sensational. But then he got hurt.
This year, with Kieran Tierney coming in to challenge him, Kolasinac rose to the top. Before getting hurt. unfortunately, Tierney did too. So left-back is just a hospital room at this point.
You look at how Kolasinac plays the game, the improvements he’s shown, and the statistical output he’s responsible for and it shines through—this is a fantastic footballer.
More from Pain in the Arsenal
When he first arrived, he was admired for his fearlessness, but there was hesitation about when that translated to brashness as well as the lack of fine-tuning. His delivery wasn’t the best, he was loose with possession. The pieces were there, he just needed to put them together.
And he has.
He doesn’t just drive straight at opposing defenders anymore, though that’s still in his repertoire. Now, he knows how to go around, he knows how to cross, he knows all these things that we saw pieces of when he first arrived.
Look at the statistical output alone. On a team that has struggled to create chances over the past three years, Kolasinac has been one of the few consistencies. But again, only when healthy. Last year he created about two chances per match between Premier League and Europa League. That was the best on the team.
It translated to seven assists. One of the best on the team. Even in his first, “raw” year he notched four goals and four assists. Yet again among the best we had in the category of goal production. This year, a massively abbreviated year, he’s had just two assists. And his defensive numbers are down.
It just hasn’t been Kolasinac’s year due to health issues. But if he can keep himself on the pitch, he has the power to keep a healthy Kieran Tierney off it. He’s that good.