Laurent Koscielny has gone on to become very much the heart and soul of the Arsenal defence in recent years. Going from the unknown levels of French football to the top of his game with Arsenal in the Premier League, Koscielny is an example that hard work, dedication and investment are key to seeing a player develop at a club.
This season we’ve seen the French centre back strike a very good partnership with German international Shkodran Mustafi. The pair have made the defence much stronger this season, working well together or as individuals. Sadly it’s only a partnership that will last a few seasons at most, with Koscielny now 31 years old and in the latter stages of his career. But he has today revealed that he wouldn’t consider ever leaving Arsenal for anywhere but former club Lorient.
In a Metro report, Koscielny is quoted as saying: “Move to Paris?! I’ll never live or play there! I’ll finish career in England or Lorient.”
It’s good to see such loyalty from one of Arsenal’s best players in recent years. Arsenal fans have seen various top quality talents leave in frustration or for big money, but Koscielny is a player who clearly holds loyalty close to his heart.
I think Koscielny is thankful to Arsenal and to Arsene Wenger for showing such faith in him, earlier in the Frenchman’s career. Let’s not forget that when Arsenal bought Koscielny back in 2010, he was pretty much unknown outside the lower levels of French football. Arsene Wenger saw his potential and took a gamble on Koscielny and thankfully it is a gamble that has since paid off. All wasn’t too fruitful for the centre back at the start, with his Arsenal career kicking off in terrible fashion. But as he became more of a regular at the back and gathered experience in England, he’s gone on to become one of the very best in the Premier League and in Europe. Koscielny is now an established centre back on the international level and he is even the current Arsenal captain whilst he stands in for the injured Per Mertesacker. Koscielny in my opinion is irreplaceable for Arsenal at the moment and he clearly feels very valued by the club.
Koscielny may find it tough to retire at Arsenal given that the club generally tends to only offer 1 year deals to players over the age of 30, but if he doesn’t end his career with Arsenal, then it’s good to see he’d never trade in his loyalty for a spell at one of our domestic or European rivals.