Why Koscielny left Arsenal revealed


One of the biggest surprises in the summer transfer window was without a doubt Laurant Koscielny's decision to leave Arsenal. The club captain first surprised the footballing public by refusing to go on the team's pre-season training in the United States, which was shocking enough. In a month time, he left emirates and went to Bordeaux in his home country.

After nine years spent at Arsenal, the last with the captain's armband as his possession, even though he wore it prior as a deputy on occasions, the Frenchman was sold for little over €5,000,000.

He spent a lot of the last season injured, and Arsenal fans were happy and enthusiastic about the 34-year-old returning, as he became a reliable centre-back. The team managed to reach the final of the Europa League, and the supporters expected the club will build on the almost-success. What ensued, was a shipwreck in which the captain jumped ship first. But why did he do it?

Koscielny's decision was a mystery for several months until the subscription-based The Athletic revealed that the club failed to fulfil several promises given to defender while also endangering his health. 

Mostly, the centre-back was feeling overused and undervalued following his return from a possible career-ending injury. An injury that kept him from France's World Cup-winning campaign.

Arsene Wenger is known for his attention on player rotation and rehabilitation, and Koscielny never had to go on pain-killer in order to keep with the schedule. But with Unai Emery, Koscielny didn't have that luxury.

The Frenchman returned to action on 13th December following a seven-month injury layoff and played four games in just 13 days. He eventually pulled out of an FA Cup game in January after complaining of back problems in the warm-up, but Arsenal felt it was an act of self-preservation. One few could argue with.

Additionally, Koscielny had all the rights to feel undervalued at the club. With 353 games for the club, he deserved more respect than he received. The club's former owner Ivan Gazidis promised him a fresh contract while he was injured and pathway to a coaching career at Arsenal.

Arsenal offered a year-long extension to Koscielny but it was on reduced terms and the Frenchman felt undervalued. Alongside missing out on Champions League, and the possible future unsustainable physical strain on his body with the English football schedule and Emery - Koscielny decided to go back home. 

He played in 12 matches for Bordeaux, spending more than a 1,000 minutes on the pitch already.


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