Thursday, January 19, 2017

Koscielny part of Wenger´s Arsenal legacy

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Oct 2016

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Arsene Wenger views the development of Laurent Koscielny as part of his legacy at Arsenal.

Wenger marked 20 years in charge of the Gunners on Saturday and his side will aim to continue a rich vein of form at Burnley on Sunday.

France centre-back Koscielny, a mainstay over recent seasons, has played a vital part in Arsenal being unbeaten since the opening-day reverse against Liverpool by forming an impressive partnership with centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.

Wenger’s reputation for unearthing talent is well established and he takes particular pleasure in Koscielny’s progress since signing the 31-year-old from Lorient in 2010.

“I’d like to think finding players like Laurent will be my legacy. That has given me so much joy and driven me on,” the 66-year-old told reporters.

“I feel so proud that I might have helped their careers. To me, it is what a manager is about, that and trying tomorrow to be better than I was yesterday.

“Koscielny is one of the players whose development I am most proud of. It is one of the most gratifying aspects of my job to take a player who nobody knows.

“One of the aspects of our job is to give chances to people who deserve it. It’s great – I can influence people’s lives positively.

“Koscielny comes from a small city in the middle of France and I think for a long time he did not believe in his potential.

“Maybe his history influenced the vision he had of his own potential. He was at Guingamp, didn’t make it and went to Tours, who were a division below.

“It takes a while to really believe your true potential. Now I believe he is as good as anyone around in his position.

“He works so well with Mustafi, a player who has so much potential but who you have to be careful with because he is so young.”

Theo Walcott scored three times in wins over Chelsea and Basel over the past week and has been taken by the instant impression Mustafi has made alongside Koscielny.

“Shkodran Mustafi gets people up for games. If you’re not doing something right he tells you,” he told reporters.

“And that’s great. He’s a German international and that’s the way he is. He’s at a completely different level at this time 

“He and Laurent Koscielny have been fantastic centre-backs. They have a very good relationship and it bodes well.”

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