Does anyone remember the 7th of July 2010? That was the day that we signed the relatively unknown French defender Laurent Koscielny. Although I do not recall the day clearly I do remember my feelings towards the transfer, they were not positive at all.
My thoughts were somewhere along the lines of:
- He plays in French League 2 – Couldn’t cut it in French League 1
- He is too skinny to play in the Premier League – He was really thin
- He is 24 – If he were any good he would have some sort of reputation
- We paid nearly £9mil for him
- Wenger’s bad reputation at buying French defenders – Grimandi, Cygan, Squillaci and Sylvestre
- He took the number 6 shirt previously worn by Senderos
I would like to take this moment to state I was completely wrong at the time. This signing could go down as one of Wenger’s best. The signs were there to see that he was a good player on his debut against Liverpool in the same season. He had a quality match but ruined it by getting sent off.
When we signed Koscielny he joined Vermealen and three of our most hated centre backs that we have ever had at the club: Gallas, Djourou and Squillaci (what a poor defence we must have had).
Personally I feel that Kos has developed so much so that he is now one of the best defenders in the world. The beauty of it is that the people who watch him week in and week out know this, others just don’t bother watching him enough. A reason for this may be that his name is not fashionable, (he is consistent not either spectacular or awful like a Ramos, Luiz or Silva) and that people associate Arsenal with attacking play not for their defending.
His covering tackles cannot be matched by many in football at the moment. Put him next to a player like John Terry or Chiellini and people would be raving about Koscielny.
I am really really excited to see him partnering with Gabriel next season, I think he also his similar potential to what Kos had when we signed him. Watch out for this partnership, coupled with Coquelin (full season) or new DM and Cech. All of a sudden we have a quality back line.
If Real Madrid want he will cost them a good £50mil to buy.
Also just glad that Koscielny being French did not take the cursed number 18 shirt: