Arsenal’s long-serving captain Laurent Koscielny has departed the club after nine years after he joined French side Bordeaux for €5 million.
Arsenal and Laurent Koscielny have parted ways after their long-drawn saga came to a fruitful end. Arsenal have confirmed the exit of their long-serving defender as Koscielny joins French side, Bordeaux. The deal is thought to be finalised for €5 million as Arsenal finally agree on a reasonable fee for the player with Bordeaux.
Koscielny made his intention to leave clear at the beginning of Arsenal’s pre-season campaign when he refused to travel with the side for the USA tour. Arsenal were standing firm on their valuation and were reportedly demanding as much as £10 million for the defender. However, Koscielny was agitated at this and demanded the club let him go on a free transfer whereas Arsenal wanted a transfer fee.
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Initially, there was rumoured interest from Borussia Dortmund but a concrete offer never really came Arsenal’s way. However, Rennes and then Bordeaux expressed significant interest in taking Koscielny back to the French league. Koscielny was understood to have agreed on a deal with Rennes, but later their president categorically denied any such approach.
However, Rennes came forward with their interest in recent days but expressed concerns over the transfer fee Arsenal were demanding. Bordeaux came in late with their interest. Although Rennes were still keen on Koscielny, it was Bordeaux who came to terms with Arsenal over a transfer fee. They subsequently agreed on personal terms with Koscielny before sealing the deal.
Koscielny joined Arsenal from Lorient back in 2010 and became a crucial part of Arsene Wenger’s side, making 353 appearances. He got himself badly injured during Wenger’s final season against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final and only returned last season amid significant doubts over his playing future. The Frenchman proved doubters wrong after became a key member of Unai Emery’s side.
During his time at Arsenal, Koscielny won three FA Cups and came close to winning the Premier League back in 2015/16 when Leicester City eventually took the title. Koscielny might look back at his time at Arsenal and regret not winning major trophies apart from the domestic cup. Although during his time he established himself as one of Europe’s best central defenders.
Arsenal will undoubtedly miss Koscielny for his energetic displays and leaderships. The Gunners are on the lookout for a new central defender to replace the Frenchman, although they are not close to signing anyone at the moment.
As for Koscielny, he will certainly be happy at the fact that Arsenal agreed on his departure and he’d readily fit in at Bordeaux for next season. Bordeaux could very well be his last stint at football. At 33-years of age, he might not have a chance to play in another top league after his two-year contract ends here.