Just because the first new player to sign for Arsenal since the end of the season is mainly known as a defender does not necessarily mean that Arsene Wenger is looking to make the Gunners a more defensive team next season, nor is the fact that we are losing a striker at the same time, although some might say it is a bit of a stretch to call Yaya Sanogo a striker.
What does strike me as a sign of Wenger’s tactical intent, however, is what he was reported on the Arsenal website as saying about the signing of Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Schalke. The Arsenal fans were instantly wondering how the Bosnian international would fit in and I’m sure that is even more true of the club’s current options at left back, Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs, and I think that both could be feeling a little more secure right now, especially the Spaniard.
Wenger said, “He’s very compact as a player, very strong and determined in the challenges. He’s good in the air as well, so overall I believe he has all the attributes to adapt to English football
“The game here is very demanding physically on the commitment front and he has the ingredients to adapt to that.
“What he will give us is the fact that he’s a player who can give assists, who can go forward, who can contribute good crosses.
“It’s very important that we have that as well, because we have Kieran Gibbs, we have Nacho Monreal and we have him. But Nacho plays a lot now in central defence and in a three-man system I see him in there.
“So overall, I think [Kolasinac] can contribute a lot to help us to be more dangerous going forward.”
So it seems like Wenger is thinking of playing the defensively solid Kolasinac in the left wing back role, at least some of the time and that suggests to me that the boss wants Arsenal to be harder to beat. That may sound obvious but we all know that we often sacrifice solidity for attacking intent.
Gibbs is probably the other main contender for the wing back role in a back three formation, especially if Wenger does want to go on the attack more, so could there be a good role for all three left backs next season?