Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac has returned to Bundesliga side Schalke on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 Bundesliga campaign.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has been restricted to nine appearances in all competitions this season, just one of those coming in the Premier League.

Kolasinac has now been loaned to the team where he started his career before moving to Emirates Stadium in 2017, having spent five seasons in the German club’s senior ranks.

Arsenal announced the news on their website on Thursday, with the loan deal set to officially go through on January 4.

“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,” said Arsenal technical director Edu.

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

Kolasinac has made 113 appearances for Arsenal and was part of their FA Cup-winning squad against Chelsea in August.

The 27-year-old joins a Schalke side who sit bottom of the Bundesliga and are without a win in 13 league outings this season, but he is confident of keeping his boyhood side in the division.

“I’m happy and proud to be wearing the royal blue of Schalke 04 once again,” Kolasinac told Schalke’s website. “The club is currently in a difficult situation.

“Over the coming weeks and months I want to do my part in order to help us pick up as many points as possible.

“We will manage to stay up together, I’m 100 per cent convinced of it. I’m also very happy to be reunited with several familiar faces, both in the team and backroom staff.

“I never lost touch with FC Schalke 04. Returning to Gelsenkirchen was something I really wanted to do.”

Kolasinac’s departure could be the first of several for Arsenal in January, with manager Mikel Arteta revealing earlier on Thursday that trimming his squad is a priority.

Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have also been tipped to leave before the window closes on February 1.