Flanks have been a pivotal area to exploit in modern football. Wing backs have been used to achieve immense success at Club and International level. Pace and accurate crossing are top priority nowadays for any manager on the lookout for a wing back.
Here we take a look at Premier League’s consistent performers on the left flank, Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac and there distinguishing attributes. Both the London clubs have undergone an inconsistent season so far with neither of them being able to create momentum, but the wing backs have been pivotal in what the clubs have achieved so far this season.
The Spain International arrived at Stamford Bridge for an estimated £24 million in 2016 and has been a fan favourite. Alonso was a pivotal part of Chelsea’s successful campaign last season. The 27-year-old continued his Midas touch into 2017 and became the highest scoring defender in the process.
Goal threat: Alonso’s impeccable free kick accuracy has rescued the Blues out of many tight situations this season, especially against Tottenham and Southampton, where he ended up being the game changer. Alonso has accumulated 5 goals and 2 assists so far this season and looks to add more to the tally as the new year begins.
— Sagnik (@CurryConfed) December 31, 2017
Long passes: Be it crossing or sending it out long, Alonso is the man to finnd a target man. Chelsea can do without Cesc Fabregas mainly because of his ability to pick a pass. Arsenal will have to look out for the cunning runs from Hazard, Morata and Willian.
Kolasinac was brought in by Arsenal on a free transfer and many were sceptical about the Bosnian’s ability to adapt in the Premier League. The 24-year-old had a stellar start to his career as a Gunner with a goal against Chelsea on his debut in the Community Shield and an assist in his Premier League debut against Leicester City.
Attacking prowess:The Bosnian won the hearts at the Emirates after getting voted as Arsenal’s Player of the month in August and October. His physical style of play was something that Arsenal lacked in their back line. Kolasinac has scored 2 goals and set up 4 for his teammates so far this season.
Strength: Kolasinac has added a lot of brawn to the left flank of Arsenal. He is not as tactically sound as Nacho Monreal but he is used to bullying the opposing winger and pickup the occassional yellow for the team.
Wilshere on the hard man in the squad: "That's easy, Sead [Kolasinac]. He came in the summer and everyone was like 'Jesus!' but he never goes to the gym and he doesn't even eat a lot. It must be genetics, he must have a big dad!" pic.twitter.com/JNofQo0ghY
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) January 2, 2018
Personality: This may not look like a big deal but Arsenal lack this in the dressing room. Characters like Patrick Vieira and Tony Adams make title winning teams. Kolasinac may provide that factor after a full season in the Premier League
Sead Kolasinac will be a huge miss for the Gunners as he is speculated to be out for about 2 weeks. A prospective battle in the left flank between these players would be missed when Chelsea face Arsenal in their first fixture of 2018. Despite both the players being instrumental in their area for their respective clubs, Marcos Alonso has won several games single-handedly for the Blues and has earned the distinction of being the best in the left flank