Kolasinac's supercharged debut

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Kolasinac - How Xhaka's message helped me

After an eye-catching performance in the Community Shield, Sead Kolasinac is already well on his way to becoming a firm fan favourite.

The Bosnia international is settling in well to life in London, and he credits an old adversary, Granit Xhaka, for making the transition so smooth.

“What made things easier [when I arrived] was that I had a lot of players here with whom I could speak to in German,” Kolasinac told Arsenal Player. 

“There are a few players who have helped me with things like where to live, where to go out in the evening. The team have really helped me.

“After I signed, Granit sent me a message and that pleased me. It made it easier to come here because you get to a new club and don’t know anyone, which makes it exciting and nerve-wracking. 

“It was nice to have had contact with him before and I was happy that he sent me a message. I’ve had contact with him over WhatsApp since, and it definitely made things easier for me.

“We’ve played against each other a few times [in the past]. They were always fiery encounters against him! He played in the No 6 role and I think the last time I played against him, we unfortunately lost. But after he left, we won against Gladbach again.”


'Kolasinac was outstanding… he was born strong'

Arsene Wenger discusses the Bosnia international after he scored his first goal for the club in our Community Shield win against Chelsea

As debuts go, Sead Kolasinac’s was pretty unforgettable. 

The Bosnia international came on in the first half of our Community Shield win against Chelsea, slotting into our back three and impressing with a faultless performance at the back.

Not only that, but Kolasinac equalised for us in the 82nd minute with a powerful header, before watching us beat the Blues on penalties at Wembley.

Arsene Wenger was full of praise for our new signing afterwards, saying:

on Sead Kolasinac…
He came on well. He’s normally a wing-back or a full-back but he can also play at centre back. He had a very interesting performance last week and I had a hesitation over playing him from the start today. I thought maybe the pressure of Wembley… but when he came on, he was outstanding.

on whether his power will make it easy for him to adapt to English football…
I would say yes. He is physically very strong naturally. There are players who are pumped up in the gym and players who are born strong. He is the second part.

on whether that convinced him to buy Kolasinac…
In the Premier League, power plays a part, but it’s not only that. We took him as well because of his attitude. I believe that the modern game doesn’t tolerate as many weaknesses as it did 20 years ago and you always need a combination of talent and attitude. He looks to me that he has good talent, but as well a very strong and determined attitude, supported by a strong body.

on Lacazette’s debut…
Lacazette is getting stronger every week and I believe today it’s the first time that you’ve seen that physically. He still needs to adapt to the intensity of the game, but overall in the first half he had very interesting movements and I believe that from what we see today, he will become stronger and stronger and he had a very interesting game.


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