Unai Emery has spoken this evening about the Laurent Koscielny situation and has revealed that he wants the Frenchman to remain at Arsenal this season.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw in France against Angers, Emery said,
“He’s a very important player for us. We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility.
With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team, and it’s changing our idea with the centre back, because if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us.
At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him. We want to be strong in our defensive line, working with the players we have now. We are speaking about the centre backs, but we have a lot of centre backs, we have good centre backs, and if we can sign one more centre back, it is because he is clearly better than we have.
Because at the moment we have six. We are in different positions with some players because Mavropanos has his injury and we are continuing to see that situation. We have until August 8, and we need to speak over these few days about how we can be, and how we can close our squad”
Some surprising comments there from the boss, he clearly thinks that if Koscielny stays then the club is well served with centre backs. I certainly do not agree with that assessment.
Even if Koscielny was to remain at the club, which is controversial in itself, the idea that there are enough quality central defenders defies reality. Simply put, the centre back position needs strengthening desperately.
Emery was further asked about signing another central defender if the 33-year old does depart he said. “Now it is between the club and him. I fight to convince him, but I respect his decision, a very personal decision, and that situation can only manage with one argument. I haven’t lost my hope that he will be with us next year. But at the moment his decision is to leave and we are also thinking if we can improve with other players and how we can help with him”
Well, that is not good for multiple reasons.
Koscielny should be offloaded or sent to the youth teams, he does not deserve to remain an Arsenal player after what he has done and Emery really is digging a hole for himself here.
He is taking a huge risk because if Arsenal fails to do better than they did last season then it is all on Emery, especially when so much money has been spent on a winger.
Not strengthening the centre back position is negligence, and Emery will have to live with the choices he makes because I cannot see an improvement, no matter what players are brought in up front if you leave the centre of defence the same as it was last season.