Despite an arid transfer window and a dismal start to the 2016/17 campaign, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is optimistic of his side’s title aspirations this season.
Arsene Wenger has been subject to immense criticism over the last few months over the lack of transfer activity in the summer. The Frenchman has roped in Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach, who has been his only major signing this summer. Japanese striker Takuma Asano was another signing made by Wenger, but due to the player’s work-permit issues, he is set to miss the entire 2016/17 campaign.
Arsenal’s third signing Rob Holding has been pushed into the first-team picture a bit too early, and the inexperience is evident from the young English centre-back’s performances. Rather than bringing him on as a second-half substitute to regain match fitness, Wenger opted to hand him starts in both Premier League games this season. He improved in the game against Leicester but in the home tie against Liverpool, the former Leeds man was all over the place.
Despite the shakiness surrounding the side, defender Laurent Koscielny is upbeat of his side’s chances this season. Arsenal finished last season, second to champions Leicester City, but had given up the chase for the elusive Premier League crown months before the season drew to its close. Koscielny believes that this year’s league trophy could see Arsenal’s name carved onto it.
According to Mail Online, the French defender has vowed that the Gunners will be challenging for the Premier League this season.
“We are Arsenal – we fight for the title. Every game we play we want to win the game” said Koscielny.
“This season will be very difficult because of the top clubs spending a lot of money on transfers, it’s unbelievable. But sometimes the collective can be better than individual players. So we want to keep our philosophy and play football.”
“You could see last week we lost Aaron Ramsey with an injury and now he’s out for one month. When we have a summer tournament it’s the same for every other team, not just for Arsenal. I’m sure every other team is the same,” he added.
Koscielny played a pivotal role in France’s run to the final of the recently concluded European Championships and returned to Arsenal’s starting eleven after an extended leave.
His arrival immediately gave the Arsenal side the added confidence as they managed to keep a clean sheet against Leicester City. The 26-year-old marshaled the back-line with aplomb and was one of the best players on the field. Wenger would be hoping to see more of the same from his long-serving centre-back.