Unai Emery has revealed that he hopes to convince defender Laurent Koscielny to stay at the club for next season.
It is being reported by Goal that the Frenchman could yet stay at Arsenal despite heavy links with a move back to his homeland.
Koscielny was disciplined by Arsenal earlier this summer after refusing to go on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
Emery said: “At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him.” (Source: Goal)
It seems that all is not well between Arsenal and Koscielny, with the France international seemingly aggrieved at a row between the two parties according to former teammate Olivier Giroud. However, his services could be required next season due to Arsenal’s activity in the transfer market.
According to David Ornstein, the north London giants are in talks with other clubs about a move away for Shkodran Mustafi. And with Rob Holding yet to return from injury, Arsenal could be left very short at the back for the start of the Premier League season, with just Calum Chambers and Sokratis Papastathopoulos the only senior options.
As well as the lack of options, Koscielny was statistically one of Arsenal’s best central defenders last season, making the third most clearances and second-most interceptions per game last season.
However, one of the most impressive things about Koscielny is his cool head. Compared to Sokratis (1.5) and Mustafi (1.4), Koscielny has a much lower average of fouls per game (0.5), suggesting he has better decision-making than his compatriots.
Arsenal boss Emery is entirely right in his efforts to attempt to keep Koscielny. Frankly, with the Frenchman still one of Arsenal’s best defenders considering his stats last season, there’s little footballing reason to let him go. Indeed, the lack of options could hurt Arsenal ahead of the new season, especially if one of Chambers or Sokratis gets injured between now and the close of the transfer window, given the lack of experienced cover mentioned above.
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