Sead Kolašinac has left Arsenal to join French side Marseille after Arsenal terminated his contract as the Bosnian fullback only had 6 months remaining on his Arsenal deal. Kolašinac will join up with Arsenal players Mattéo Guendouzi and William Saliba at Marseille.
Kolašinac becomes the fourth Arsenal player in 12 months to have had his contract torn up, a worrying trend for Mikel Arteta, as Arsenal are struggling to find fees for their players. Sokratis, Shokdran Mustafi and Mesut Özil have all had their contracts either cancelled or suspiciously left to run out in the past six months, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan starting the trend himself.
Kolašinac was signed in the summer of 2017 on a free transfer, ignoring the advances of clubs like Manchester City and Juventus, in order to join Arsène Wenger’s side.
At the time, the transfer looked a stroke of genius. As this would be Arsenal first Champions League-less season for a while, Arsenal had since adopted a 3-4-3 formation and Kolašinac looked to be a potential jewel in the crown.
However, Arsenal swapped their formations so often, that it became difficult for Kolašinac to nail down a starting place.
Following Wenger’s departure, Kolašinac looked revitalised under Unai Emery, with the Bosnian often being Arsenal’s main port of call in attack, with Kolašinac forming a wonderful partnership with both Mesut Özil and Alex Iwobi.
Controversy came calling when Özil was attacked by weapon-wielding maniacs in London and Kolašinac came to his aid. The video was seen world-wide and the Bosnian’s heroics did not go unnoticed.
However, following Emery’s departure, Kolašinac failed to regain his place in the team under Mikel Arteta, who would often use Kolašinac as a left-centre back if Arsenal ever played with a back-three, which was not Kolašinac’s strong suit.
In January of last season, Kolašinac was loaned back to Schalke, where he was signed from, for a six-month loan deal with the option to make the deal permeant in the summer.
During his time at Schalke, Kolašinac and former teammate Shkodran Mustafi were chased from the stadium by angry fans following a particularly tepid performance by the team.
It was thought that Kolašinac would return to Schalke, where it all began for him, however, the German side’s financial issues and relegation made this impossible.
Though Kolašinac has made regular apperances for the senior side in pre-season matches, there was always an air of inevitability about the Bosnian’s move. He has rarely been involved this season, even when being fit and has been largely forgotten by manager and fanbase alike.
There were rumours that Kolašinac could have played a part in the team’s recent loss in the FA Cup, playing in midfield, but the idea was scrapped in favour of Charlie Patino starting.
Arsenal a little lighter in defence now, especially with the departure of Pablo Marí to Udinese, but this is unlikely to be a big loss for the manager, given how little Kolašinac has played since then.