Just about an hour before Arsenal were scheduled to take off to the United States for their pre-season tour, the Gunners dropped a massive bomb on their website saying that skipper Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel with the squad.
Koscielny’s future has been in the air for some time now with L’Equipe revealing recently that Ligue 1 side Bordeaux are keen on signing him this summer. The 33-year-old still has a year left on his deal at the Emirates but the report claimed that Koscielny wanted the board to release him in this window.
Arsenal’s unwillingness to let their captain leave on a free transfer seemed to have irked the Frenchman to the point of him refusing to be a part of the club’s pre-season tour. Koscielny’s sudden change in behaviour has come in as a massive shock for the majority of the Gunners’ fanbase, especially after how professional he had been at the club over the last nine years.
Arsenal releasing the statement publicly is also surprising considering how secretive the club have in almost all their affairs. The Gunners’ public criticism of the player could certainly mean that there is more to the story but a club statement, irrespective of Koscielny’s unprofessional behaviour, highlights the major changes under the new regime.
The skipper’s poor behaviour combined with Arsenal’s public criticism of the player almost certainly means that his time with the Gunners is up. However, it truly is sad to see one of the best players in the Emirates era ruin his legacy at the club where he went from being an unknown French footballer to one of the best defenders in the league.