Arsenal have confirmed defender Sead Kolasinac has joined former club Schalke on loan for the remainder of the season.
The Gunners signed the Bosnia-Herzegovina international on a free transfer from the Bundesliga squad in the summer of 2017, and he went on to make 78 Premier League appearances for the north London side.
However, Kolasinac has only played once in the Premier League for Arsenal this season, with his seven additional appearances all to come in the Carabao Cup and Europa League.
Arsenal confirmed the news on the club’s official website, with technical director Edu saying: “Sead has to play regularly, so we decided together that a return to Germany with Schalke would benefit him right now.
“We will stay in close contact with Sead and wish him great success for the rest of the season with Schalke.”
Kolasinac’s exit comes after Mikel Arteta revealed that Arsenal’s priority in the January transfer window will be to offload fringe players.
The Gunners’ oversized squad means they have two more senior players than they are allowed to sign up for in the Premier League, with Mesut Ozil and Sokratis being excluded from Arsenal’s squad for the first half of the season .
“We have a great team. We knew it. ” Arteta said (via BBC Sport). “A lot of things that should have happened this summer, we couldn’t accomplish for different reasons. We cannot maintain the numbers that we have in certain positions.
“There are players who are going to be loaned out and leave, and that’s the priority. Then we’ll see if we have the right opportunity in the positions where we need more help. ”
The club are said to be open to offers for Shkodran Mustafi – whose agent revealed in December that he had traveled to Barcelona to negotiate on behalf of his client. The £ 35million man has played just 43 minutes of top-flight football for Arsenal this season.
Calum Chambers could also be allowed to go on loan in order to get first-team minutes under his belt as he continues his comeback from a long-term knee injury.