One of Arsenal’s most experienced stars has had his say on the behaviour of Laurent Koscielny amid his transfer controversy, here’s what he had to say.
Arsenal star Nacho Monreal revealed in an exclusive interview with Mirror Football, that club captain Laurent Koscielny can still his rescue his Gunners career, despite refusing to travel with the club on their preseason tour due to a dispute over a new contract and the chance to return to France.
It’s now understood that the disgraced club captain has been ordered to train with the club’s Under-23s in London after his refusal to travel on Arsenal’s tour.
According to the Evening Standard, the Gunners club captain pushed for a move after Ligue 1 side Bordeaux suggested that they were prepared to offer the stalwart a three-year deal, it’s also understood that Lyon and Rennes are interested in the Frenchman.
Koscielny’s disappointment stems from the fact that, as per the Standard’s report, that the north London club were only prepared to offer him a one-year contract extension – given his troublesome injury record in recent years.
According to BBC Sport, Koscielny wasn’t happy that the Gunners didn’t grant him a free transfer so he could return to his homeland this summer, after it was made clear to him that a long-term contract wasn’t in the pipeline.
Here’s what Monreal had to say on the Koscielny matter:
“We respect Laurent a lot because he has played for Arsenal for a long time. He’s our captain.”
“What I would like is they fix the problem, and I think they will do it. Why not? For the moment, it’s something between him and the club. We respect him and the club.”
Koscielny’s request for a free transfer is simply something that the Gunners can’t agree to – regardless of the star’s service to the club in the past nine years.
Much has been made of Arsenal’s reported tight transfer budget in the media this summer, so Unai Emery is hardly in a position to sanction a free transfer – this would be an incredibly naive business move.
It’s a real shame that the Frenchman has essentially tarnished his legacy with Arsenal with his bold request, Koscielny was loved by Gooners given that he headed to England and established himself as one of the league’s best defenders before injuries have hindered his career in recent years.
The 33-year-old has made 518 appearances across all competitions during his time in north London, he’s one of Arsenal’s longest serving player – with the exception of the Gunners’ academy graduates.
While Monreal remains hopeful that his long-time defensive partner can stay at the Emirates Stadium, it wouldn’t be a great move by the club’s hierarchy to keep hold of a star that is so adamant to leave.
The Gunners risk dampening the mood in the dressing room ahead of a crucial season by keeping hold of the Frenchman.
Koscielny’s desire to leave is the last thing that Emery would’ve wanted considering Arsenal’s major defensive crisis, the Gunners leaked goals last season and their two best defenders – Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin, are currently recovering from long-term injuries.