Arsenal weren’t exactly feverishly busy buying players during the summer transfer market ahead of the current campaign. In fact, the Gunners actually managed to receive more money in player sales, thanks in large part to offloading Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, than they spent on new arrivals.
While manager Arsene Wenger only bought two players prior to the window slamming shut, the Frenchman addressed arguably the two most significant areas of concern extremely well. With the Gunners switching to three at the back, which in turn allowed 31-year-old Nacho Monreal to slide into the left center back role, the club desperately needed an additional left wing back to be deployed out on the flank. Wenger decided to go with Schalke’s Sead Kolasinac, a relative unknown for many fans outside of Germany.
When reports surfaced that the Bosnia and Herzegovina international was set to join the Gunners on a free transfer, many took to Twitter to declare the reigning Bundesliga left back of the year a “Schalke reject.” These premature assumptions were mainly due to the fact that the player was departing Gelsenkirchen without a new contract. Kolasinac has not only already proved his qualities on the pitch, but he is slowly becoming a fan-favorite at the Emirates.
Gooners everywhere love the 24-year-old defender’s versatile style of play. He can bully and defend using brute strength and speed, as well as make marauding runs up the left flank and provide quality passes near the opposing goal (as evident with his two Premier League assists already). Although we are just 16% in to 2017/18 Premier League season, Kolasinac’s statistics are looking extremely impressive next to the other top-ranking left backs in England’s first division.
Along with the impressive Kolasinac, Wenger also managed to pry Alexandre Lacazette away from Lyon as well. The striker, whose goalscoring statistics are up there with the best in Europe over the last few years, was the north London club’s record signing at £46.5 million. Though the two additions were obtained in completely different fashion, both players have equally impacted Arsenal in a positive way early in their time with the team.
Lacazette is a dangerous striker, that likes to use speed, tricky skills, and creativity to put goals into the back of the net. The France international did not take long to put his name on the scoresheet in an Arsenal jersey. The 26-year-old scored in his first friendly with the Gunners, as well as his Premier League debut with the club as well. In fact, Lacazette netted his first league goal less than two minutes into his maiden Premier League match.
While some expected Lacazette to need a bit of time to acclimate to the England top flight, the Frenchman has hit the ground running early in the season. With four goals (so close to five if not for the debatable offside call against Stoke City) in his first five league starts, Lacazette is so far keeping up with arguably the top striker in the Premier League, Harry Kane.
Arsenal fans will hope that both Kolasinac and Lacazette will continue to perform exceptionally well, and even improve as time goes on. Both are entering their prime and should be mainstays in the starting lineup for years to come. Getting two outstanding players for a combined £46.5 million is an impressive piece of business by Wenger and the rest of the club’s brass.
SEE MORE: Schedule of Arsenal games on US TV and streaming
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