Arsenal look to have beaten the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and Manchester City in the race to sign Sead Kolasinac.
The 23-year-old Bosnia & Herzegovina international has attracted interest from clubs across Europe following a series of impressive performances for Bundesliga giants Schalke this season.
Kolasinac is a versatile defender who predominantly plays at left-back but can also be deployed in defensive midfielder or centre back, with his arrival likely to displace the out-of-form Nacho Monreal on the left flank.
Goal has taken a look at Kolasinac’s strengths, weaknesses and what he’ll bring to the Premier League side next season.
This season the performances of Kolasinac have gone up a level. After sitting on the bench for the first few matches of the campaign, he managed to surpass Chelsea loanee Baba Rahman at left-back and make the position his own. He has since become one of Schalke’s most important players, which is testament to how hard he works and trains every day.
His tackling in the recent derby against Borussia Dortmund was particularly impressive. After a flick over Ralf Fahrmann by star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kolasinac managed to slide in to prevent a shot and an almost certain goal from Christian Pulisic, which drew plenty of plaudits following the match.
“You have to get stuck in now and then,” explained the left-back. “My role is to stop the opposition scoring.”
Kolasinac's biggest strengths are his tackling and tendency to almost always win the ball when he slides in. It’s difficult for wingers to play against him because he’s powerful, strong and surprisingly quick when you factor in his physically imposing frame.
Last season the consensus was that Kolasinac needed to improve his attacking play. He has done that with aplomb and with seven assists and three goals he is one of Schalke’s top attacking threats this season. His crossing has improved, but, despite the improvement in his offensive abilities, there is no doubt that his chief qualities lie in defence more than attack.
His biggest weaknesses are his technique, which is occasionally suspect, and his shooting, which requires improvement, although with the way Arsenal play it is more likely that he will be asked to cross the ball than strike from distance. His right-foot is particularly weak.
Schalke manager Christian Heidel has repeated through the season that he wants Kolasinac to stay at Schalke but his impressive form this season means his head will probably be swayed. His style of play would fit perfectly in the Premier League and he’d be a great signing for Arsenal.