Theo Walcott believes Arsenal have signed a “pet” in the form of Sead Kolasinac and said that the left can become one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
Kolasinac, a free transfer after the signing of his contract at Schalke 04 expired in June, has replaced the injured Per Mertesacker during the Community Shield victory over Chelsea and head to Arsenal, the second half of eq. Despite being deployed in the centre of the defence during his time on the field, he has also caught the eye with some marauding runs from the back and Walcott has seen enough to believe Kolasinac of the power, and the physical condition will be essential attributes.
“Sead looks like an absolute tank,” Walcott said. “It is difficult for the unit to get past and I am sure that his physical attributes will be the key for us this season.
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“Honestly, he is an absolute animal. It is amazing. I see in the gym every day, you can just tell that he looks after himself well, he eats good food and he is professional. You can see the power he has when he has the ball, his pace and everything. It is beautiful to look at and it is a great addition to the team.”
In a hyper-inflated transfer market of the German-born Kolasinac, who is 24 years old and has 18 caps for the Bosnia and Herzegovina since it has been naturalized in 2014, certainly seems to be a good deal. It has been a tough opponent for Walcott in the training, too, and the England forward believes that he is equipped to be an immediate success.
“Trust me, it is not easy to move around – it is fairly broad,” Walcott said. “It fits perfectly for the Premier League, it is absolutely perfect. It will show something different. I’ve seen glimpses of him in pre-season and he is going to get more in shape, stronger and faster. This league is the best and I think it could be one of the best in the league.”
Arsène Wenger has expressed a similar point of view after Arsenal shots on goal in the victory, and the hope is Kolasinac can add steel to the league campaign which starts at home to Leicester on Friday night. The Emirates Stadium is rarely a pleasure of the place of last season, and Walcott hopes the fans will provide a clean slate to a side who are yet to adapt to a 3-4-3 system.
“Each season, we tend to start the league not so well, and I think that a Friday night game could be the best for us,” Walcott said. “It’s a little different, this is new for us and, of course, the fans will be up for it. The home support will therefore be key this season. You’ve got to be patient sometimes with this training, we’re going to play, it is a different style of football, which is what we are still learning and we are getting better. I think we showed [against Chelsea]. We were able to stop Chelsea playing football, they tend to do when they play at full-back, we stopped very well and we worked on that.”