Former skipper Laurent Koscielny has announced his retirement from football.
In a lengthy statement, rebuffing accusations made against him by a Bordeaux supporter’s group, the 36 year old made clear his intention to ‘hang up his boots’, having earlier this year been excluded from the Ligue 1 team’s squad.
Koscielny spent 9 years at Arsenal, joining from Lorient in the summer of 2010 for a fee of around £8m. He made a total of 353 appearances for the club, scoring 27 goals – including a dramatic equaliser in the 2014 FA Cup, a trophy he won twice as a player (missing the 2017 final due to suspension).
He left under a cloud in the summer of 2019, refusing to go on the US tour, behaviour which was completely out of character based on everything we’d seen from up until that point.
An ill-advised unveiling video for Bordeaux cast a shadow on his time at Arsenal for some fans, but over the course of those 9 seasons he played with a consistency and bravery that was easy to get on board with. His partnership with Per Mertesacker was one of the best we’ve seen in modern times, and he took over as captain when the BFG ended his own playing career.
The video which chronicles his return from a cruciate injury suffered in the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid tells you everything you need to know about how dedicated he was.
Best of luck to him in the future.