After the acrimonious transfer of former captain Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal fans were split on his transfer to Bordeaux. Some felt that the players actions were disrespectful by refusing to go on tour but wanted him to stay. Others like myself considered there was no alternative but to sell him.
Laurent Koscielny has been branded “a disgrace” by Arsenal legend David Seaman.
“He should have more respect for the club. He should have said: ‘No I’m not doing that, I respect Arsenal a lot more than that, let’s just do the normal photograph'. I thought it was a disgrace.”
— Goal (@goal) August 10, 2019
He had become a lesser version of the gutsy, consistent performer that Arsenal acquired from Lorient for £11m + in 2010.
When it came to parting company, Bordeaux looked thrilled to get their man, Koscielny looked delighted to sign a four year contract for an annual salary of just over £3m per year and Arsenal’s representatives were patting themselves on the back for achieving a healthy £4.6m for a player who’s fitness is in question.
However Ex-Bordeaux scout Laurent Calippe wasn’t so cock a hoop at the Frenchman’s return to home soil and was less impressed that Bordeaux was his destination.
I think it’s fair to say that when Arsenal were said to want £8m for Koscielny’s services, most people thought it was a typo. £8m seemed ambitious and unrealistic for a player who constantly suffers injuries and has done since his arrival.
Koscielny missed 24 days in 2010 through back trouble and then every year after that he had an injury of some sort or another.
Knee, calf, hamstring, routine knocks, facial injuries and an Achilles tendon problem since 2015, have all played a major part for Koscielny at Arsenal. The worst was Achilles tendon rupture 2027/18, which nearly ended his career.
Exclusive | Bordeaux's departed scout Laurent Calippe sits down with Get French Football News: “They signed Koscielny to cover up the pathetic transfer window the club is having.” https://t.co/B5IDzYBZL0 pic.twitter.com/t9FE3FB1Zx
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) August 14, 2019
He came back but it was evident that Koscielny now has to rely on his knowledge, wealth of experience and ability to read the game.
Any pace he had was gone.
Laurent Calippe said of newcomer Koscielny,
“It’s not at all the choice that I would have made. Buy a 34-year-old, spend €5m on him, pay him around €3.3m a year.”
“For me, no, he’s not the player I’d have recruited. He’s the type of player I’d have thought might have gone to China, gone somewhere for more money – ok, he’s decided to stay in France, but I wouldn’t have invested that much money, if I’d been at Bordeaux, on a 34-year-old.
“Yes, he’s got lots of caps, a good reputation, he’s a very good player. But they’ve signed him for four years! Four years at three million, three and a half million a year! They’re giving him 15 million over four years!”
At Arsenal, Koscielny would have eventually had to face waiting for a contract extension and seeing his options dwindle drastically to the point where retirement was the better option.
#Koscielny got FIVE year deal at Bordeaux? Well, no wonder he was so eager to be released. Probably was told that the deal is subject to getting him for free… Still, should've known better. If they really wanted him that much, they were always prepared to pay the fee. #Arsenal
— (Un)balanced Arsenal (@ubarsenal) August 14, 2019
Arsenal fans can reflect that the club got a decent deal for Koscielny but we are yet to see if Bordeaux will feel the same over the next four years.