Laurent Koscielny caused a storm by refusing to travel to the US as part of Arsenal’s pre season tour and received a fan backlash on social media. As the news has been received by Arsenal fans with mixed feelings, majority of the faithful think both the parties are at fault.
Mirror | Arsenal are insisting Laurent Koscielny trains with the under-23s. He is facing disciplinary action with a heavy fine for missing the US trip. In addition, his wages are also being halved. Player is taking legal advice. #afc
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) July 18, 2019
The truth will emerge eventually and I have no doubt it will involve a broken promise to Koscielny but in the meantime, Arsenal still have a multitude of problems in defence and this issue adds unnecessary pressure on the recruiting team.
It was hoped that Arsenal and Koscielny’s representatives would find a way to patch up the damaged relationship but Arsenal were extremely reluctant to give ground to a player still under contract.
It’s now rumoured that Arsenal are slightly more keen to allow the players exit after Unai Emery made it clear that the veteran French defender would not feature in his plans.
So, the saga has taken an unforeseen twist with the coach himself dismissing Koscielny because of his current attitude and the possibility of a detrimental effect on his team and rightly so. Any true arsenal fan knows the struggle Koscielny has gone through during his Arsenal days with a series of really unfortunate injuries.
Is Laurent Koscielny heading back to France? 🇫🇷
Jonathan Johnson discusses the Arsenal man's future amid interest from two French clubs
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 26, 2019
Emery has had time to reflect whilst on tour but has been given updates on Koscielny, which remains unchanged. The captaincy has already been removed but until a few days ago, the door was still open for his return to the side, even somewhat reluctantly but Emery sees no point in retaining a player who doesn’t want to play for the club and one that he no longer wants.
It’s thought that the matter could be resolved fairly quickly and that Koscielny have a verbal agreement in place with Rennes. Arsenal will lower their financial demands to facilitate the exit but may still insist on an unrealistic sum by everyone else’s standard.
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This sorry affair of Koscielny will at least allow Arsenal to concentrate on their defensive plan, if they have one. With the announcement of William Saliba signing from ASSE imminent, the gunners have shown some intent to resolve their defensive issues but with the newly signed defender moving back to France for a season long loan does not entirely address the serious concerns at the backline.
All in all, Arsenal need some defensive reinforcements before the transfer window closes, with the club already linked with several candidates with the likes of Pape Abou Cisse and Jerome Boateng.