Unai Emery made two decisions which forced Laurent Koscielny to quit Arsenal

Laurent Koscielny left Arsenal in the summer in acrimonious circumstances (Picture: Getty)

Unai Emery dithering over naming an Arsenal captain and mishandling of Laurent Koscielny’s recovery from injury forced the former France international into taking drastic action and force his exit from the club in the summer.

The 34-year-old suffered a potentially career threatening Achilles injury during the second leg of the 2018 Europa League semi final defeat against Atletico Madrid and missed out being involved in France’s subsequent World Cup winning campaign.

Koscielny underwent a painstaking period of rehabilitation and was able to make an emotional comeback after seven months out last December.

According to the Athletic, however, seeds of doubt had already been planted in Koscielny’s mind about Arsene Wenger’s successor, with Emery taking until mid-August to confirm he would retain his status as club captain.

The Ivan Gazidis regime had already laid the groundwork for a potential new contract, but when the club’s former chief executive jumped ship to Milan a matter of months after playing the decisive role in Emery’s appointment, Koscielny was left in a state of limbo with regards to his long-term future.

Under Wenger’s reign, meanwhile, Koscielny felt able to manage his long-standing Achilles issue, avoiding the need for pain-killing injections, but found Emery’s demands debilitating and highly questionable.

After making his comeback against Qarabag, Koscielny was again pressed into action just three days later and understandably struggled in a 3-2 defeat at St Mary’s.

Koscielny was also said to have been perplexed at being asked to play in a FA Cup third round tie at Blackpool, when the majority of the squad’s other senior players had been rested, just four days after completing 90 minutes against Fulham.

The former Lorient defender pulled out of the game shortly before kick-off, sighting a back injury, but returned to action in a 1-0 defeat at West Ham a week later.

Koscielny featured in nine matches in a gruelling six-week period at the end of last season which culminated in a demoralising 4-1 defeat against Chelsea in the Europa League final.

Without the lure of Champions League football and the offer of a one-year deal on reduced terms on the table, Koscielny effectively went on strike and forced through a move to Bordeaux after Arsenal agreed a €5million fee.

MORE: Arsenal and Man Utd eye January transfer move for Juventus defender Merih Demiral

MORE: Lucas Torreira unhappy with Arsenal manager Unai Emery, confirms agent


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more