Report Card: Laurent Koscielny

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Age: 28
Nationality: French
Position: Central Defender
Squad no. 6
Height: 6ft 1
Interesting Fact: Koscielny claimed his professional debut in the third tier of French football in 2007, and just three years later, a string of impressive performances, amid his rise through the French divisions, would see him move to the elite tier of professional football: the Champions league with Arsenal.

Laurent Koscielny. Who? asked Arsenal fans upon his arrival in 2010. He’s now 28 years old, still French, and forever works tirelessly for this Arsenal team. He is a big cog in the often-clunky machine that is Arsenal Football Club.  He made a wobbly start to his Arsenal career, seeing red on his debut against Liverpool, and for a while, the future of this mysterious player from the French second division looked bleak. He was partly at fault the loss of the Carling Cup against Birmingham. However, after hitting rock bottom, for Koscielny, the only way was up. And he flourished in his second season with Arsenal, cementing his place in a leaky back four that was steadily becoming solid. But it wasn’t until the arrival of Per Mertesacker that Arsenal realised just how good of a centre back they had in Koscielny. The partnership blossomed, and he is now almost irreplaceable. He’s one of Arsenal’s key players, providing stability at the back with his speed and, at times, flawless defensive displays. When Arsenal survive an attacking onslaught, Koscielny is often the reason why, and as result, he often goes home with the Man of the Match award. Not only does he provide excellent protection, he has real knack for popping up with the often game-changing, and crucial, goals. It’s a real credit to the player, and Wenger, when you see how far he’s come in the last couple of years. Transfer wise, he’s another one of Arsene’s success stories. Laurent Koscielny is a massive asset.

How much will he play?

All the time – With Koscielny it’s very simple: if he is fit, he plays. He’s arguably our best centre back, and there’s a strong argument that he’s one of, if not the, best in the premier league, even stretching across Europe. He was a nobody until Arsenal signed him, now he’s bordering world-class status. He’ll play as much as he can. He’s built an impressive partnership with Mertesacker over the past two years, and it’s difficult to picture an Arsenal defence without Koscielny. He’s solid in every way he needs to be.

How well will he do?

Koscielny is one of the best in his position, for Arsenal, and for the Premier League. He’s strong all across the board, and he has flourished in Arsenal colours after a shaky start. His technical quality is impressive for a centre-back and only further supports the calmness he brings to the once stormy waters of Arsenal’s defence. He has pace, which is a imperative to his ever-growing partnership with Per Mertesacker. Koscielny complements the defence perfectly, and has a habbit of bagging the most crucial of Arsenal goals. Two years ago, he sealed the top four spot with the all-important goal in a 1-0 win over Newcastle.

Read: Report cards for the whole Arsenal squad

Pace/Recovery: 8
Interceptions: 8
Tackling: 8
Passing: 8
Heading: 9
Stamina: 9

Overall Rating: 9/10

Current value: £25m

Potential value: £ N/A. Due to his age, Koscielny represents little sell on value, and should see his career out at Arsenal, and his value will only decline as the years roll by.