Arsenal’s center-back, Laurent-Koscielny who also happens to be the captain of Arsenal has been in hot waters for a while now. The 33-year-old footballer declined to travel on the pre-season tour of the US, right after his request to terminate contracts in order to join another club, which was also rejected. In his nine years in Arsenal, Koscielny is now leaning towards returning to his home country, France and leaving Emery’s team.
However, Arsenal’s manager is not one to let go easily and is actually keen on holding the player this summer with the center-back position still proving to possibly be of trouble at Emirates. Post-pre-season friendly draw against Angers, Emery made a statement on his captain’s possible leave. “Koscielny is a very important player for us and I don’t lose hope for him to be with us next season. I am speaking regularly with him and I am trying to convince him to stay with us, but at the moment his first idea is still to leave and this situation is making us change our ideas about the center-backs.” Emery adds.
It’s pretty obvious how common the shortage for center-backs is at Arsenal and has brought forth a demand to get more players at his disposal. Currently, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are still recovering from an injury, while the struggle to recover is still real with Shkodran Mustafi. However, even with Emery wanting Koscielny to stay at Arsenal, Emery insists that the search for a new center-back in the market is still a top priority. “We want to be strong in the defensive line and we are thinking about how we can replace him. If we can sign one more center-back it will only be if he is clearly better than the six we already have.” Emery adds.