Report: Kolasinac linked with January Italian move

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According to Sky Sports, both Napoli and Roma want to sign Sead Kolasinac when the transfer window opens next months.

It’s one of those ‘Sky Sports understands’ stories, which usually means some intern has read it on the timeline of a Twitter randomer.

Perhaps there’s some truth to it, but in terms of timing it doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Arsenal will be without Kieran Tierney until March after the Scottish international underwent surgery for a dislocated shoulder, while Kolasinac himself is sidelined after suffering an ankle injury against Man City.

It has led to 18 year old winger Bukayo Saka being deployed as a left-back, and it would make little sense to sell the only established player we have for that position (when he’s fit again, of course).

The 26 year old has been hit and miss since his free transfer move from Schalke in 2017, and questions over his long-term future aren’t unreasonable, but given the circumstances at the moment, we’re not convinced at all.

It’s time to break out the Poo-O-Meter:

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HelderHughes
HelderHughes

If we could shift Kolasinac, Xhaka and Ozil in January, I wouldn’t even care if we didn’t replace them and finished in a mid table position.

Abdul
Abdul

You forget to add mustafi to the list

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I mean, with those four off the wage bill, we’d save (by my questionable maths) £34M a year. That’s nuts. I hope Arteta has been watching carefully and isn’t afraid to be brutal. Luckily he does have the cold eyes of a Deliveroo driver when you don’t leave an additional tip.

YaGunnersYa
YaGunnersYa

It really is incredible how much we spend on wages for players, some of whom don’t even feature in the majority of our matches.

Artetas assistant
Artetas assistant

Must be why the downvotes ?

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I genuinely reckon there are people out there who think “Ok, so he joined in 2013, spent five seasons in a dysfunctional Wenger team, then a season and a half with the witless Emery. D’you know what? I think this could be Mesut’s moment to show us the player he truly is.” News flash. He’s been showing us the player he is for six years. Good in patches.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

Curious if the latter two are motivated to prove themselves for the new manager. Kolasinac have to stay until we get another decent left back option

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

As regards Xhaka, I don’t think motivation is the problem. He’s just substandard and a responsibility ducker, both figuratively and literally.

Ozil had a strop with Freddie which I think is a true indication that he’s just way too petulant and spoilt unless he’s being profoundly mollycoddled by a benevolent father figure. And to all those people on here who, when I criticised Ozil’s reaction, told me I was “buying into a narrative” about Ozil and he was just angry at his own performance, could they please explain to me why Freddie wouldn’t pick him this weekend?

Or maybe just stop being Ozil revisionists and apologists and realise that the only reason he’s not jumping ship has nothing to do with loyalty but actually because he’s paid stupidly well and his next options are the professional football graveyards of Turkey or USA.

santi's thigh grab
santi's thigh grab

Have to play both ways in the USA, he’s not good enough.

T.A.
T.A.

It’s been clear for several seasons that Ozil should go. It was an incredible show of mismanagement to have offered him his current extravagant contract. He is an incredibly talented player whose head is just not right.

Mintoes
Mintoes

He was never a good fit from the beginning. Shoehorned into the team after Madrid offered him to us.

Victor Lim
Victor Lim

or China…

Maxwell
Maxwell

100% correct analysis. They are of no use to the team.

Tominho
Tominho

I missed the good old Pooh-O-Meter, glad to see him back.

Tim
Tim

We can’t sell another left back so soon after we lost Nacho, especially with Tierney appearing to be an injury prone player. That is of course unless we sign someone to replace Kola who we know has a brilliant injury record, and someone with EPL experience so they can immediately slot in. But that costs money, a resource we have little of.

Prakhar
Prakhar

Letting Kola go would only make sense if they are signing a dependable full-back who can challenge Tierney. If we are smart about it, and not too high headed, we will be good to look into cheap deals from not so glamorous clubs. Robertson from Hull for 8m quid comes to mind.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Who else comes to mind? Robertson was a 1 in a million find, its not that straight forward

Prakhar
Prakhar

Any established player who has been consistent in Championship is very much ready, as Chelsea show this season with their youngsters. Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount. The Wolves squad. The entire Sheffield United squad. There is great quality even in second divisions. Let alone lower first division clubs.

goonerink
goonerink

especially if we are looking for the player to eventually become back up to KT

kaius
kaius

It’s categorically not true that any established Championship-level player is ready. For a top-4 team? Really? Norwich and Aston Villa are stocked with those types of players and currently sit in the relegation zone.

Wolves were promoted to the Premier League mostly due to spending big on imports, they tried established Championship-players for years and it didn’t work.

And as for Abraham, Mount and James, those guys don’t grow on trees. They’re the rare exceptions who emerged out of Chelsea’s huge (and slightly corrupt) academy and multiple loans system.

Most teams and players who come up, still go back down. Guys like Andy Robertson are, again, the rare exception. Yeah, player development at Championship clubs has improved massively as Premier League TV riches filter down via transfers and relegated clubs’ parachute payments etc. And Sheffield Utd have done very well so far.

But are we now saying there’s no more gulf in quality between the top of the Premier League and the Championship? Don’t think we’re there yet.

T.A.
T.A.

Under George Graham Arsenal were known to have been very savvy in raiding the lower English leagues for some excellent players. I don’t know why we don’t do that as much anymore. Anyone who watches lower league matches can see that there are some excellent talents there

A Different George
A Different George

Under George Graham, Chelsea was not owned by a Russian oligarch, nor Man City by a sovereign wealth fund, nor half the other clubs (including us) by billionaires of various provenance. Under George Graham, clubs in the bottom half of the table did not have so much television money they could buy top players from Spain or Germany.

T.A.
T.A.

I agree. Of course conditions have changed radically. But I am still puzzled why we don’t go after some of the lower league talents. Leicester haven’t done too badly with players like Madison and Maguire.

SantaClausola
SantaClausola

It’s a shame we don’t have an actual left back from academy breaking through. Doesn’t make a lot of sense selling him when KT is out till March but I agree he is one that needs to be moved along. If Bellerin is fit, maybe AMN could be used at left back as worst case but I would presume we would get another player in to have 2 LB’s at the club. Who that would be since it would be fairly cheap since KT will be number 1, is another question

YaGunnersYa
YaGunnersYa

We do in Tolaji Bola, if he can get some game time. Surely now would be a good time to try him out in the first team?

Prakhar
Prakhar

If Liverpool can find Robertson playing for Hull in 2017 for 8 million. I am sure our club with it’s resources can find a proper dependable fullback who defend, run, head and cross.

A Different George
A Different George

I think you have described Kieran Tierney.

Mother
Mother

Kolasinac isn’t a bad player but he’s not quite astute enough to be a LB and not quite dangerous enough to be a LWB. His injury record since joining has been disappointing as well and I think it’s hindered his progress.

I wouldn’t be against him moving on but I also wouldn’t mind if he sticks around. We have a few other players who should be shown the door long before Kola should!

Zadok
Zadok

Decluttering

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Perhaps we are culling the defenders

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

he would be one of say, seven or so senior players who we should look to replace, but i think timing might not be right with this one, finish out the season then move him on,

Rich
Rich

I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

He’s reportedly a big earner, and I think we need to adopt the Dortmund model.

Bringing in big names on big money hasn’t worked, our wage bill is ridiculous, and the quality and balance of our squad is very poor.

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse

In the long run he isn’t good enough to play for Arsenal Football Club. He represents the mediocrity we have come to accept.
In the short term he may need to stay though.

And is useful if it ever came down to a knife fight.

Jack
Jack

So despite having no left backs, and a lack of central midfielders, Kola and Xhaka are looking the most likely to go in January. Makes sense

santi's thigh grab
santi's thigh grab

If we bring players in, then yes it does make sense. But without reinforcements, your point is well taken.

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

Selling him now would be fucking stupid

And anyway he’s been one of our least worst players this year

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

Sounds like madness given we don’t have any fit left backs or someone breaking through in the U23s. If Arteta has someone he has his eye on that City have been scouting under the radar, and we can get near the £30m mark for Kola, it makes sense. If it’s the club just looking to flog profitable assists to balance the books, then it’s bonkers.

YaGunnersYa
YaGunnersYa

Perhaps this indicates that Freddie and Bouldy believe our U23 left back, Tolaji Bola, can be trusted to do a job there?

Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

To be fair Kola has been better since Tierney arrived. So it’d be a shame if he go.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Would be amazed if we sold him now. Tbh I think he’s been ok this season, and is certainly a decent back up option. Would only let him go if we got mad money for him.

Meletios
Meletios

Auba had a nice fluffy pony tail going on, in the picture here…dare I say he can use it blind defenders in one to one scenarios.

Meletios
Meletios

*has (damn autocorrect)

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

I think he’s been good going forward. With better coaching he’ll get better. Artetas style of play well suit him.

SLC Gooner
SLC Gooner

Could we find a better defender than Kola for less money? Perhaps. But I wouldn’t let him go until we have that person signed. He hasn’t been that bad, and with Tierney out until March, letting him go without a replacement signed would be too risky. And the replacement can’t be a slow, end of career player such as Lichsteiner.