Laurent Koscielny was considered one of the best central defenders in the premier league just a few years ago but his career was cruelly interrupted by an Achilles injury in UEFA Europa League against Atletico Madrid in 2017-18.
Personally, I thought he was suffering from injury before this incident because he just didn’t seem to be the same player and looked to be almost running on empty.
He came back in December 2018 after a 12 month absence and his form has been steady. However, just lately, he looks as if he is in trouble.
His ability to backtrack is limited, he struggles against pace and is only able to compete because of his undeniable bravery and because he possesses a fine footballing brain which helps him asses approaching danger.
Koscielny has managed to roll back the years to give solid, committed and vigorous performances in a number of Europa league games but Emery has had to protect and rotate his captain to extend his shelf life.
— Koscielny (@6_LKOSCIELNY) May 9, 2019
It’s obvious that, because Arsenal have been deprived of Rob Holding, the weight of the defensive responsibility has fallen on Koscielny’s shoulders .
Sadly, he may have been rushed back for the torturous volume of games that Arsenal have faced in the premier and Europa leagues because of the limited options but he has struggled to keep pace with what has been asked of him.
Koscielny’s position is somewhat similar to former gunners Captain, Per Mertesacker.
The German realised that his body was unable to compete at the highest level and he subsequently retired.
Koscielny will be 34 in September and will surely only be used as a squad player next season in key games, if he extends his contract beyond June 2020.
He has been a great servant to the club but it’s likely that we are witnessing the tail end of his Arsenal career and that his retirement isn’t out of the question.