According to the Guardian, Arsenal have start disciplinary proceedings against club stalwart Laurent Koscielny after the Frenchman refused to go on the Gunners pre-season tour of the United States. Reportedly, Koscielny took the step in order to force a return to his homeland this summer. The centre-back still has a year left on his contract but is believed to want to move on early.
Out of character for Koscielny
This action seems to be out of character for Laurent Koscielny. The experienced centre-back has always come across a reliable character. He is one of the few Arsenal players who have shown a smidgen of leadership in recent years.
He has also seemed loyal to the Gunners during his nine-year career thus far in north London. It appears from the outside as a very strange move, as especially according to Arsenal no clubs have expressed an interest in Koscielny.
There must be more to this story than Koscielny wanting to walk out on the club. It would be very surprising if something has not happened behind the scenes that has motivated the Frenchman to make this move.
Arsenal need to add defenders and not lose them
One of Arsenal’s biggest priorities this summer seemed to be to bring in new defenders. The Gunners defence were woeful at times, especially away from North London.
The Gunners have Sokratis, Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Shkodran Mustafi as centre-back options, as well as Koscielny. However, Koscielny has proven to be the team’s best defender in recent seasons, with the team more vulnerable when the Frenchman is absent.
The club from north London have failed to strengthen in defence. In fact, the Gunners only signing is Brazilian teenager Diego Martinelli, who looks unlikely to play much of a part next season.
Most regular watchers of Arsenal in recent campaigns will state that their weak point in the team is at the back. It is weak enough with Koscielny, so to lose the French centre-back this summer will be a blow, even if he is 33-years-old.
Koscielny had been linked with a move away from the north London club last summer. However, his injury problems delayed any potential move after he picked up a long-term injury in last seasons Europa League semi-final.
It seems the veteran defender is now for whatever reason desperate to leave Arsenal, which is bad news for the Gunners. What makes the situation worse is that they are unlikely to get much of a fee for the centre-back due to his age and his contract situation.
Unlikely to end top-four draught next season
I feel like a broken record when I talk about Arsenal and their chances of finishing in the Premier League. I cannot see how the Gunners are more likely to finish in the Champions League spots this season than last season.
The fact Chelsea are banned from bringing in new players makes the Blues slightly vulnerable to dropping out the top-four. However, the Gunners would still need to be good enough to take advantage of any potential slip-ups by Frank Lampard’s team.
Arsenal are currently odds of 5/4 to finish in the Champions League spots next season. The odds suggest that the bookmakers believe that the Gunners will once again miss out on a top-four finish.
Koscielny downing tools is not exactly going to help their cause, neither is a lack of movement in the transfer market. Arsenal have stood still this summer, which they could not afford if they wanted to push on next season.
Will Laurent Koscielny leave Arsenal this summer?
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