Arsenal F.C. are at their lowest point under Arsène Wenger, as they sit in seventh place and are closer to 16th place Bournemouth than first-place Chelsea. Arsenal have loads of problems at the club, like Arsène Wenger not announcing his decision on his future, the owners settle for mediocrity, and not buying world class players and leaders. With all the uncertainty and poor performances at the club, Arsenal needed to do something to prevent the state of the club from getting any worse. Well Arsenal delivered, as they have taken two important steps in the right direction if they want to get out of the dreadful state they are in.
First off, Arsenal have signed the 23-year-old F.C. Schalke left back Sead Kolašinac on a free transfer for next season. Kolašinac has had an impressive season for Schalke in the Bundesliga (German first division), contributing three goals and five assists in 21 games. Those are fantastic numbers for a left back, as Kolašinac is contributing a goal about every two and a half games. If you compare that to Arsenal’s starting left back, Nacho Monreal, he has contributed zero goals and two assists in 28 league games.
Kolašinac has very good physical attributes as well. He is a very powerful runner, he is a great crosser, he is fast, and strong. His attributes will be good for Arsenal, because Arsenal’s current full backs Nacho Monreal and Héctor Bellerín do not possess the strength that you need in the Premier League. Another great factor of Kolašinac’s transfer is that Arsenal were able to buy him for free. This was due to Kolašinac’s contract that was expiring in six months. Due to it expiring in six months teams were allowed to negotiate a contract with him, and if that contract was accepted then they wouldn’t have to pay any money for the transfer. With Kolašinac having a market value of nine million Euros and the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton, and A.C. Milan trying to sign him this looks like a great deal for Arsenal as they identified a position they needed to strength.
Another step Arsenal are taking in the right direction is the prospect of Marc Overmars becoming the first Sporting Director at Arsenal. Overmars is a former player of Arsenal from the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Overmars had a very successful time at the club, winning the Premier League and F.A. Cup in 1998, and contributing 33 goals in 124 games for the gunners. Overmars has spent the last five years as AFC Ajax’s Football Director. He has seen two league titles over his five seasons as Football Director in Amsterdam with Ajax. Overmars has gained a lot of good experience at a historic club like Ajax and is ready to take his coaching career to the next step as Arsenal’s new Sporting Director.
The important thing is that Arsenal are trying to hire a former player for this role, which is one crucial thing the club have to do this summer, bring back former legends to coach at the club. It is also important to recognize the role of a Sporting Director. The Sporting Director does many things, but one key factor of their job is player recruitment, and specifically transfers. Overmars will target players that he and Wenger will agree on that contribute to the club. Overmars is a former player of Arsenal and he will understand what kind of players Wenger wants in his team to play his brand of football. Wenger used to coach Overmars, so you can expect them to have a good working relationship.
With Arsenal already taking two important steps in the right direction, this summer may be a great one for the gunners if they continue this trend. Overmars joining Arsenal is not a for sure deal, but with countless sources stating it, this means it is likely to happen this year, but it may be a matter of time before the club announces it officially. Arsenal still have other issues to deal with this summer like sign world class players and leaders, sell players who aren’t good enough, and renew the contracts of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez. Arsenal are making a good early start to a busy summer, however the most important task to focus on now is ending the season strong, try to win an F.A. Cup, and try to get into the top four of the Premier League.