Koscielny to part company with Arsenal. I’m normally quite scathing of Arsenal’s contract negotiations but the assurances Laurent Koscielny has been seeking regarding his future at the Emirates are not about to be met anytime soon and for good reason.
-Arsenal open to offers for Koscielny, Mustafi and Monreal
-Chambers doesn't want to be loaned out again and has a relatively high stock
-Fenerbahçe interested in Elneny
-Arsenal interested in Saliba
-Unai wants to restructure the backline and return to a flat back 4
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) June 4, 2019
Let’s firstly examine the reasons why the club are not willing to extend the Frenchman’s contract by two or three years.
Koscielny has not been physically fit for a number of seasons and even before he suffered a devastating Achilles tendon injury, which kept him out of the side for seven months, he looked a yard slower and less assertive.
Koscielny had been the stand out central defender for two seasons but the pace and wear and tear of the premier league almost ended his career.
Koscielny made a decent contribution last season when he was called upon to cover injuries and at times looked okay but he has lost his edge and only his sense of positional play and spatial awareness have prevented him from being completely embarrassed against quick opposition.
I’m not really sure that the Frenchman’s body is capable of more than 15 or so competitive games per season and playing him less would be a fairly shrewd and kind act to preserve his career for three more years.
According to reports, Koscielny will depart this summer. A top player in his day who could have won more trophies elsewhere, but opted to stay. It’s a shame it didn’t work out in Baku, but he’s been a great servant. Regardless of what the future holds, I’ll wish him all the best.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) June 3, 2019
Say what you will but Koscielny has always been brave and has tended to throw himself into challenges as the last form of defence in an incompetent backline. It’s those types of incidents that have cost the Arsenal Captain and at 33 years of age, his reliability in four demanding competitions is highly questionable.
The only positive move is for Arsenal to extend his contract by a further 12 months or place him on an appearance based contract but I doubt the proud Frenchman will be satisfied with something that reflects his obvious decline.
Realistically, Arsenal should treat the player with the respect he deserves, whilst remaining mindful that he is well past his best. Koscielny is able to put in a full shift on occasion but the glowing performances that were once frequent features of his game are becoming more of a collectors items.
In someways it would be kinder to have one of those elaborate and woolly endorsements that Arsenal are best known for, as they cut him loose. One of those “by mutual agreement” things that they do so well, possibly presented by someone who is completely vacuous and insincere like Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s Director of football.
Fenerbahce’s sporting director confirmed in an exclusive interview with @AsistAnaliz that he was in Baku last week for transfer business. A report last night suggested he held talks with #AFC officials regarding Koscielny and ElNeny. pic.twitter.com/X9RdrF6FCh
— Arsènic™ (@MrArsenicTM) June 4, 2019
There will be takers for his services, perhaps in France and a coaching role in the long term because of his invaluable experience but I personally cant see Koscielny playing at the top level beyond his 35th Birthday.