Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger backs strongman Sead Kolasinac
Last Updated: 18/08/17 11:08pm
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is backing new-boy Sead Kolasinac to handle the pressure of the traditionally tough trip to face Stoke at Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
The clash of styles between Arsenal and Stoke has lead to a bitter rivalry in recent years that intensified following a Ryan Shawcross tackle that broke Aaron Ramsey's leg in 2010.
But, Wenger believes summer signing Kolasinac has all the physical credentials to help him stand up to the physical Potters on Saturday evening.
"He has started well," Wenger said of the former Schalke defender.
"Maybe he is the strongest, he is naturally strong. He uses quite well the strength of his body without violence and when he intervenes it doesn't look to be a foul, he just uses his body strength.
"It is an important quality to help adapt to the Premier League.
"He has the capacity to repeat runs and we noticed when we watched him play that he is quite dangerous in the final third.
"He already has some assists since he came here so overall maybe he is not a glamorous dribbler but the quality of his runs are very efficient.
"The determined attitude gets to the crowd and that gives a swing to the team, you can see that with him and when he intervenes he provokes happiness."
Kolasinac has already been taken to the hearts of most Arsenal fans after he headed home a late equaliser in their Community Shield penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.
The Bosnia-Herzegovina international then laid on a goal for Danny Welbeck in the Premier League opener against Leicester last weekend - which Arsenal went on to win 4-3.
Wenger said it was a "no-brainer" to bring in Kolasinac for free after his contract at Schalke came to an end and believes the signing offsets the club-record fee paid for Alexandre Lacazette later in the summer.
"I think it was a good opportunity in Germany because we knew he was at the end of his contract," he said.
"Watching him, I thought he had the quality. I met him and he had a good spirit and a good attitude so basically overall it was a no-brainer for us.
"It is a nice bargain because it allows you to divide your buy by two. When you buy two players, the price of one you buy you can divide by two. One player for £50m is two for £25m.
"You might find it more and more, I have said it many times, that more and more players will go to the end of their contract because the transfer is too high, the inflation is too high and the agents will be demanding and clubs will not be in a position to extend contracts."