"KOSCIELNY HAILS WENGER’S LEGACY"
Laurent Koscielny says Arsene Wenger’s achievements at Arsenal will include turning a generation of players into ‘men’, as well as influencing the club’s football philosophy and its physical infrastructure.
Just days after committing his long-term future to the Gunners, the France international – who was signed by Wenger from Ligue side Lorient in 2010 after just one season of top-flight football – expanded on the important guidance the manager continues to provide his protégés on and off the pitch. “You may say that we haven’t won the title for a long time, but he has not just built players, he’s built men too,” Koscielny told Arsenal Player. "Every player who has played for Arsenal has grown here and has become a man. It’s a big number [of players]. For me and the others, it’s a good opportunity to be with him and learn from him. “He’s passionate about football. He loves football and he loves to watch his team play well with the ball. That’s why he’s here again after 20 years. “Along with a lot of people, he’s helped this club grow with a new stadium, a new training ground, and he built the platform for us to compete for the Premier League and Champions League every year.” Nice words.
It’s pretty obvious that the respect Koscielny has for Wenger is mutual. A cursory perusal of the archives shows how the boss has repeatedly played up his compatriot’s qualities since his arrival…
7 July 2010 (Day Koscielny signed for Arsenal)
“He has shown he is mentally strong, he’s a fighter and a very strong competitor. Koscielny is a great addition to our squad.” 15 September 2011
“I believe he will be a great central defender.” 28 January 2012
“That makes him, I personally believe, one of the top-class central defenders in the Premier League.” 22 August 2013
“He’s just another example of the trust we have in players when we bring them in. It was not a spectacular signing at the start but who would deny it today?
3 December 2014
“Laurent Koscielny was absolutely outstanding today and he contributes to stabilise our defence. We missed him for nearly two months and it’s important".