Why Arsenal should keep hold of Kolasinac amidst interest from Italy
According to Sky Sports, Serie A sides Napoli and AS Roma are interested in Arsenal defender Saed Kolasinac in January. The Gunners left-back is currently sidelined due to an ankle injury and is set for a return next month, the report added.
Italian side AS Roma are keen on landing Kolasinac as a replacement for veteran left-back Aleksandar Kolarov, whose contract with the Naples-based outfit is set to expire in the summer.
Meanwhile, Napoli, managed by former Italian midfielder Gennaro Gattuso are in a hurry as they aim to rope in the Bosnia-Herzegovina full-back in January. However, both the sides will have a tough job luring Kolasinac, who still has two-and-a-half years left on his contract at the Emirates.
The Gunners are short of players at left-back, with youngster Kieran Tierney being the only other face in the squad. Tierney is currently out of action due to a dislocated shoulder injury and would not be returning until March next year.
Arsenal are going through one of their worst periods in recent history, with the side currently hanging in 11th place. They are nine points short of fourth-placed Chelsea and would be in the vilest of situations if they let Kolasinac move to Italy.
The £100,000-a-week left-back has made 14 league appearances this season and has provided 2 assists too. From a defensive perspective, it has not been the best of seasons for the left-back, who has kept just one clean sheet.
Kolasinac’s poor displays in defence are also a reflection of his team, who have conceded 27 goals already, three more than what they have scored this season.
Kolasinac was the preferred first-choice left-back under previous boss Unai Emery this season. However, inconsistency and poor form saw Kolasinac lose his spot to Tierney.
Also, it remains to be seen if he will be included in new head coach Mikel Arteta’s plans going forward.
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Ever since he made the switch from German side FC Schalke in the summer of 2017, Kolasinac has gone on to play 88 matches for the North London club, scoring 5 goals and assisting 15 times in the process.
A good passer of the ball, Kolasinac is a versatile player who likes to bomb forward with his attacking runs and has also featured in the left midfield role a number of times for the Gunners.
With Arsenal clearly short of players in the left-back department, it seems hugely unlikely that they would be willing to let go of Kolasinac even amidst interest from Italy.
Moreover, his versatility will offer multiple options to Arteta on the left flank. Hence, they should hold him close rather than letting him go, especially at this moment of crisis.
(Note: This article was written before the Boxing Day fixtures)