In recent years, Arsenal's defence has been the subject of much criticism online. However, one thing that is certain is that 32-year-old Laurent Koscielny is not to blame.
The Frenchman has excelled in the majority of his 324 appearances for Arsenal since joining the club in 2010. Unfortunately, Koscielny suffered a nasty achilles injury towards the end of last season, which is expected to rule him out for the majority of this Premier League campaign.
Get Football French News quotes an interview with Koscielny's agent, Stephane Courbis, who revealed that Koscielny came very close to leaving the club alongside Arsene Wenger this summer.
It's fair to say that fans online have had mixed opinions towards Koscielny's future.
Mikael Silvestre. Pascal Cygan. Phillipe Senderos. Sebastien Squillaci. The list of unreliable Arsenal defenders goes on and on. However, Koscielny was always viewed as a breath of fresh air at Arsenal.
His successes have led to him becoming one of Arsenal's longest-serving players in their current squad, only behind Aaron Ramsey's tenure at the club.
However, the news that he was considering leaving the club this summer as they entered the post-Wenger era has certainly split fans. On one hand, Koscielny has been one of the club's most reliable defenders in recent memory, but he is now a 32-year-old who hoping to return from a career-threatening injury.
Koscielny was seemingly looking to follow Wenger out the exit door this summer before his achilles exploded. I expect he gets a move to Ligue 1 as soon as January. The club will surely be happy to offload him at this stage in his career? There can’t be much gas left in the tank.— JD (@funisgone) September 4, 2018
Koscielny wanted to leave last season... the club ‘captain’ 👀— Bill (@_billcarlisle) September 4, 2018
Strip his captaincy and leave him to rot at the training ground.
Footballers, these days. 🤷🏼♂️
In 2010, Wenger brought Koscielny to the club from Lorient, with the club short on centre backs at the time. The early days of his Arsenal career were blighted by disciplinary issues, but Koscielny managed to get back on track and win over the Arsenal fans.
Eight years later, Arsenal again find themselves in somewhat of a defensive crisis. Koscielny's calming influence was certainly missed by Arsenal during their calamitous displays against Manchester City and Chelsea, but it appears as though Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi have began forming a solid partnership in the Frenchman's absence.
A lot of fans have been showing their appreciation for Koscielny on Twitter, which is the least the player deserves as a result of his commitment and dedication to the club.
Damn if we lost Koscielny in the summer that would have been a terrible he is the only good cb we have. As you can see our current 2 cbs are pretty useless— ☀️ Neil ☀️ (@TheNeilesh) September 5, 2018
Koscielny was initially expected to be out until December, but it is now believed that he may be able to return to training in November. However, the severity of this injury means that there is still a long way to go when it comes to returning to match fitness.