Arsenal have gone down the unusual route of naming five captains for the season - but it could have quite easily been four.
Skipper Laurent Koscielny’s agent has revealed that the injured Frenchman came close to leaving the club this summer, after Arsene Wenger left the club.
It was disclosed that our defender made moves to speak to both Monaco and Marseille, and there were also bids on the table from China, but his injury curtailed any potential return back home.
Koscielny was understandably shook when Wenger departed, after spending the last seven years under his tutelage. Wenger stood by him through injury and helped Koscielny go from Ligue 2 import to French international regular.
The Frenchman has amassed 238 appearances for the Gunners, and has been with the club through some lean times, but has also taken part in three victorious FA Cup wins. He is a vital member of the squad, and with some shaky displays in our current defensive lineup, his return is more critical than ever.
Koscielny is now 32 and while his best years may well be behind him, a fit Koscielny will walk into the side. Unai Emery will be counting on him to add some solidarity to the team, and our win percentage with him is higher than without, which is the purest evidence of his worth.
The thought of Koscielny leaving this summer didn’t enter most of our thoughts, such is his commitment to the club. He may fall short of a testimonial to honour his service, but there are few who have given more to the cannon than him.
Koscielny will obviously stay with Arsenal for now, but he will be fit before the winter window, so a move could well be possible should he not adapt to Unai Emery’s new ways. There are no other players who have spent so long under Wenger so it is understandable that Koscielny could pine for other climes.
This may rumble on as the winter approaches. Let’s hope Koscielny stays for the season, we are far stronger with him than without.