Despite missing the start of the season through injury, Sead Kolasinac still has a big part to play in how Arsenal’s season plays out.
Kolasinac sustained an injury to his left knee during Arsenal’s pre-season match against Chelsea in Dublin in August. It was originally feared that the wing-back could be out until mid-October but the Bosnia & Herzegovina international returned to full training on Saturday, at least three weeks ahead of schedule.
Although Kolasinac will most likely not be risked in this week’s matches against Brentford and Watford, he could be brought back into the frame as Unai Emery looks to change things around at the club.
Five wins from their last five matches have given the manager and players some much needed confidence after losing their first two matches of the season against Manchester City and Chelsea. With games against the Hornets, Fulham and Leicester City in the Premier League coming up, Arsenal could extend their unbeaten run and gain some valuable points that should place them in a competitive position.
Kolasinac will, however, have an important role to play in the Gunners’ quest to pick up points when they are on offer. Arsenal struggled away from home last season and picking up victories on the road will be as important as ever now.
With Ansley Maitland-Niles still injured, 32-year-old Nacho Monreal will not be able to play every game in all competitions. Kolasinac showed last season that he is more than capable of operating in the left-back position and is a real threat when given time on the ball.
With a powerful left foot, the 25-year-old is not afraid of unleashing a shot and was used quite frequently as a left wing-back by Arsène Wenger last term, scoring five goals in 36 appearances.
Arsenal have two tricky Europa League away games at Qarabag and Sporting Lisbon in October, where Kolasinac could be of high value. A strong and powerful player like Kolasinac will be much needed by Emery. Arsenal will have to be clinical in those Europa League matches, especially on defence after letting in two goals against Vorskla at the Emirates last week.