Sead Kolasinac joins Schalke on loan - as Arteta promises to trim Arsenal squad in January

Ali Rampling
Sead Kolasinac has joined Schalke on loan
Sead Kolasinac has joined Schalke on loan / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Arsenal have confirmed that defender Sead Kolasinac has re-joined former club Schalke on loan for the remainder of the season.

The Gunners signed the Bosnia and Herzegovina international on a free transfer from the Bundesliga outfit in the summer of 2017, and he has gone on to make 78 Premier League appearances for the north London side.

However, Kolasinac has featured just once in the Premier League for Arsenal this season, with his additional seven appearances all coming in the Carabao Cup and Europa League.

Kolasinac has hardly featured this season
Kolasinac has hardly featured this season / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Arsenal confirmed the news on the official club website, with Technical director Edu saying: “Sead needs to be playing regularly, so we have decided together that a move back to Germany with Schalke will benefit him at this moment.

"We will be keeping in close contact with Sead, and wish him huge success for the remainder of the season with Schalke.”

Kolasinac's exit comes after Mikel Arteta revealed it was Arsenal's priority in the January transfer window will be to offload fringe players.

The Gunners' oversized squad means that they have two more senior, non-homegrown players than they are permitted to register in the Premier League, with Mesut Ozil and Sokratis omitted from Arsenal's squad for the first half of the season.

"We have a large squad. We knew that." Arteta said (via BBC Sport). "A lot of things that should have happened in the summer we could not accomplish them for different reasons. We cannot sustain the numbers that we have in certain positions.

"There are some players that are going to go on loan and going to leave, and that is the priority. Then we will see if we have the right opportunity in the positions where we need some more help."

The club are said to be open to offers for Shkodran Mustafi - whose agent revealed in December he had travelled to Barcelona to negotiate on behalf of his client. The £35m man has played just 43 minutes of top flight football for Arsenal this season.

Calum Chambers could also be allowed to leave on loan in order to get first team minutes under his belt as he continues his return from a long-term knee injury.