Defender and Arsenal captain, Laurent Koscielny, has refused to join Arsenal on their pre season tour of the US. Arsenal released a terse statement on the matter which said:
“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions,”
“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”
So, this implies that the player is at fault but as I understand it from a reliable source, Koscielny was given assurances that he would be able to return to France before the new season commenced.
The Arsenal defender was being chased by three clubs including Bordeaux and Rennes, but he favoured a move to Lyon, something he had pretty much set his heart on. However, the curved ball in negotiations with Saint Etienne regarding the transfer of William Saliba, insists he will remain on loan for a season, which has left Arsenal short of its prized defensive asset.
They have also failed to secure the services of another central defender and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney and this has meant they have informed Koscielny, that any proposed transfer away from the Emirates is now on hold.
This has infuriated the Frenchman, who has put his heart and soul on the line, played through the pain barrier and against medical advice to serve the North London club.
Arsenal have further concerns regarding Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin, who may not return to action at the start of the season and this has complicated matters further for the Frenchman.
Mustafi is unreliable, Mavropanos is unproven, so that leaves only Sokratis in the centre, unless Unai Emery decides to use Krystian Bielik, which is the most sensible option.
It seems the new dawn at Arsenal under Raul Sanllehi, is in fact no different than the chaos under Ivan Gazidis and we now follow up the farcical contract extension debacle, with a broken promise to a loyal servant.
As much as I understand Arsenal’s position, if it has been agreed for the player to leave in principal, he should still be allowed to go. This is the last move in his career and at 33 years of age, the opportunities available to him will be few and in the event of a delay, they may disappear altogether.
Let’s hope that Arsenal football club have a change of heart and secure another central defender before the deadline to allow Koscielny the move he deserves.
Nevertheless, he’s too slow for the Premier League and his body can’t sustain a full season in four competitions.