Arsenal legend Ian Wright has slammed Laurent Koscielny’s representatives for being behind the decision to refuse to travel on the squad’s pre-season tour.
As noted on the club’s official site on Thursday, they confirmed that their defensive stalwart had refused to travel with the rest of the squad to the US as part of their pre-season preparations.
BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein has revealed that there is a breakdown between the two parties over a touted previous agreement to allow the Frenchman to leave on a free transfer this summer, something that Arsenal deny was agreed upon.
In turn, that has led to the situation as it currently stands, although the decision not to travel would have been a huge shock to all concerned at Arsenal given Koscielny’s professionalism and efforts for the club over the years.
Wright believes that there is only one person to blame for that, and that’s the defender’s agent who would have been behind the decision to stay behind in north London and now cause such an uproar among fans.
“He’s given us unbelievable service, we’ve seen him play through pain and build a legacy and legendary status he deserves,” he said on his YouTube channel, as quoted by Sky Sports. “For our captain to refuse to go on a pre-season tour after nine years of unbelievable service, to destroy your legacy a little by refusing to play for a club is something that is baffling me.
“Why Laurent? Who are your advisers and what are they saying to you?
“I am so disappointed in your decision to do this at this time, if your agent sees this, and I hope they do, shame on you, shame on you, for doing this to him and convincing him. No way you can tell me he will come up with this on his own.
“This is something I cannot get my head around and I pray to god it can be resolved sooner rather than later. It doesn’t set a good example, Arsenal need to do something quick and disciplinary. I love you Laurent but this is a poor decision.”
Time will tell if the two parties can still reach an amicable decision on the matter, and whether or not the 33-year-old can still turn it around and feature for Unai Emery’s side this season if an exit doesn’t materialise.
On one hand, Arsenal can’t afford to let him go given their leaky defence was bad enough last season, as they conceded 51 goals in 38 Premier League games, giving them the second worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the table.
In contrast, it’s arguably never a good idea to keep a player who has his heart set on an exit, both in terms of his happiness and the potential mood in the squad with him sticking around. In turn, an exit could perhaps be the best resolution for all concerned if a replacement can be found.