In a saga that has been ongoing since around the start of Arsenal’s official return to pre-season, former club captain Laurent Koscielny has been doing everything in his power to try and force a move away from the Emirates. Of course, this comes not long after the man himself seemed to declare that he loved the club after returning from injury, so forgive us if we seem a little bit confused.
As you probably know by now, Laurent Koscielny refused to travel to the United States of America with the rest of the team for the club’s pre-season tour as he looks to force a move away from the Emirates this summer. The captain – though he probably won’t be wearing that arm-band again even if he ends up staying – has disappointed the club massively with his actions.
Arsenal are keen on keeping him, and while it always hurts for a club to lose a player they don’t want to lose, it’s also always useful to look at matters from an objective point of view.
There’s been a lot of speculation over who is going to leave Arsenal Football Club this summer, as you can probably imagine. The Gunners need to start getting the deadwood out of the club, and in place of that, bring in a series of stars that can try and push them into that all elusive top four.
Some of their current players are going to be in a better position than others to get the job done for them, but one man who is destined to leave this summer is Laurent Koscielny. As we’ve already noted, the supposed captain of Arsenal has refused to go on their tour of the United States. That, in itself, is more than enough to warrant his dismissal.
Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel with the team for their pre-season tour in the United States of America, Arsenal have confirmed in an official statement.
Having started out at Guingamp, the club captain also played for Tours and Lorient before arriving to the Emirates in 2010. His impact in the team can be said to have been huge right from the start, as he made 43 appearances and scored three goals in all competitions in his first season. Overall, he has played 353 times in an Arsenal shirt and found the opposition net 27 times from his position as a centre-back. Apart from that, he also has 51 caps for France under his belt.
The summer transfer window is well and truly underway, and clubs and players around the world are looking to make smart moves for themselves in the market.
Arsenal are no exception. With no Champions League football to offer and a reportedly tight budget, they really need their wits about them. So what’s going on with all those reported targets? Well, there’s isn’t really a way for anyone looking from the outside to know, but the media, as is their wont, are talking. Let’s see what they’re saying.
Borussia Dortmund are considering moving to sign Laurent Koscielny, according to Bild.
The German outlet claim that the Bundesliga runners-up are looking to boost their back line with a player of significant experience, and they feel that Koscielny could be the player to fulfill their need.
Having played in Ligue 2 with Guingamp and Tours, the 33-year-old eventually joined Arsenal after a season with Ligue 1 side Lorient back in 2010. The man that was named Arsenal captain following the retirement of Per Mertesacker would go on to play 353 competitive matches in the Gunners’ shirt, and score 27 goals as a centre-back, helping the team to two FA Cup trophies, two league cup finals, and a Europa League final recently.
Arsenal should, and we should stress the word should, be one of the busiest teams in Europe during the upcoming summer transfer window. Their season fell apart during the last few months, and as such, they need to re-group and really think about who they want to come in and who they want to go out at the club. It’s not going to be easy to pick and choose what’s going to happen, but these are the kind of tasks that managers like Unai Emery need to make.
Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette has been talking about the importance of centre-back Laurent Koscielny in the Gunners run to tonight’s Europa League final against Chelsea.
Respect for his compatriot
Talking about his teammate, Lacazette told Teamtalk: “He worked all summer to come back quickly and when he came back he played four games in a row after a big injury. That is really hard.
“He has helped us all season to be better in defence. We all have big respect for Laurent. A really big respect”.
According to talkSPORT, Arsenal veteran French centre-back Laurent Koscielny could exit the club this summer. The 33-year-old has just a year left on his contract and reportedly the Gunners could sell the defender if he does not sign a new deal this summer.
The same report also claims that the Gunners could target Barcelona’s French centre-back Samuel Umtiti as his compatriot’s replacement.
Koscielny’s future in doubt
When Koscielny is fit the experienced centre-back is Arsenal best defender. However, there have been doubts over the Frenchman’s future at the club since last summer, when he was reportedly considering his future.
On Thursday night, Arsenal host Valencia at the Emirates Stadium, in the Europa League semi-final first leg.
The Gunners head into Thursday’s clash on the back of a three-game losing run in all competitions while conceding at least three goals in all three defeats. Last time out, Arsenal suffered a 3-0 defeat at Leicester City.
Despite the Gunners poor recent run of results, the team from north London have won their last three Europa League games, while also keeping three straight clean sheets. In fact, Unai Emery’s team has kept clean sheets in nine of their last 11 matches in the Europa League.