Arsenal manager Unai Emery has reiterated that Laurent Koscielny has not changed his stance and the Frenchman is determined to leave the club during this summer’s transfer window.
The 33-year-old has been one of the club’s most consistent performers over the past nine seasons, but he appears to have decided over a fresh challenge despite the personal plea from Emery.
Speaking in a press conference following the Angers friendly, Emery said that he is doing his part to convince Koscielny to remain with the club, though the defender wants to part ways.
“I fight to convince him, but I respect his decision, a very personal decision. I haven’t lost my hope that he will be with us next year. But at the moment his decision is to leave,” he was quoted by Arsenal.com
Koscielny’s future with the Gunners was questioned following the Achilles injury sustained in May 2018, and there were doubts whether he could make a swift recovery after witnessing Santi Cazorla’s troubles following a similar setback.
However, he managed to return to the first-team mix during the festive period last season and bagged an impressive tally of 30 appearances across all competitions where he was appreciated by a section of the supporters.
As such, his decision to push through a departure this summer will undoubtedly leave a void at the heart of the backline and it remains to be seen whether the club manage to pursue a replacement, considering the impressive Rob Holding is still on the sidelines following his knee injury.
Arsenal currently have three central defensive options in Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Calum Chambers available for the new season while Nacho Monreal and Granit Xhaka can act as makeshift options. Elsewhere, Konstantinos Mavropanos remains out of contention with an unknown injury concern.