There was a time Arsenal oozed creativity in all aspects. Under Arsene Wenger, the Gunners had natural goal creators from defence to attack. Mesut Ozil was top of that chain, effortlessly lacing assists for teammates.
This season, however, Arsenal haven’t quite reached their usual high standards in the final third. They dominate play as usual, registering more than 70 per cent of the possession, but lack cutting edge. They simply passed the ball from one side of the pitch to the other.
Arsenal have struggled to even move the ball into the right areas. From an average of 63 passes into the final third per game, the Gunners are now making just 51 per game – giving them the fifth-lowest total in the Premier League.
With Ozil and Aaron Ramsey failing to reach usual heights, the creative mantle shifted to an unlikely player -Sead Kolasinac. The powerful defender has continued to provide a dangerous outlet on the left flank. In fact, the Bosnian’s creativity has become even more important.
When it comes to defending, Kolasinac remains suspect. The Bosnian has rarely put a foot wrong in attack, however. He has been responsible for eight league goals- the most recent was Alex Iwobi’s strike against Huddersfield on Saturday. Only Andrew Robertson and Jose Holebas (10) has contributed more goals from defence.
Kolasinac struggled to hold down a starting spot under Wenger. He’s been almost indispensable this term. Since recovering from a knee injury to make his first league start of the season in November, Kolasinac has only missed one Premier League game.
According to Skysport, Kolasinac gets more touches in the opposition box than any other Premier League defender. For touches, he is also top. Kolasinac averages 1.9 chances created with Everton’s Lucas Digne next on the list at 1.2 per 90 minutes.