Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has conceded that he has been sought after by other clubs in recent times, but he plans on staying with the Gunners.
The 30-year-old continues to play a pivotal role for Arsene Wenger’s side in their pursuit of a Premier League title this season, as their draw with Stoke City on Sunday moved them back to the top of the table.
Having conceded just 21 goals in 22 league matches this season, the defence has undoubtedly been a key part of that success with Koscielny emerging as one of the best players in his position in England.
However, it could have been a very different story for the French international, as he revealed that he did have opportunities to leave north London.
“For the moment, I have no reason to go and look elsewhere,” he told Le Journal du Dimanche, in an interview published before the game at Stoke. “I have everything I need to blossom.
“There were teams interested in me but I always asked myself if it was worth taking the risk. I’ve seen a good few players leave for a bigger club and find themselves on the substitutes’ bench.
“At the start of my career I was often on the bench. I hated it. I said to myself — never again.”
Now in his sixth season with Arsenal, Koscielny will hope to add a league title to his trophy collection as he went on to insist that the FA Cup triumphs in the past two years have helped build confidence within the squad.
Whether or not they are able to sustain their current push remains to be seen, although Wenger will certainly be hoping to get some of his injured stars back sooner rather than later in order to see them through the final 16 games of the campaign.