Arsenal Preparing Third Offer For Laurent Koscielny – But Who The Devil Is He?

By Chris Wright

I have to come clean.

Until I came across Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny‘s name whilst compiling the transfer round-up a week or so ago, I’d never heard of him – and I imagine I wasn’t altogether alone on that front.

Over the past few days there have been various stories detailing the various offers that Arsenal may (or may not) have made for the 24-year-old, which culminated with the French outfit reportedly rejecting a €10 million bid for their highly-prized centre-back.

Now, some ten days after Arsenal’s initial offer was submitted, it would appear that Arsene Wenger is readying a third, more substantial, bid for Koscielny – believed to be in the region of €15 million.

€15 million would represent a fairly considerable profit for Lorient on a player they signed for just €1.5 million only twelve months previous, so I got to wondering – just what has Koscielny done in a year to inflate his market value by 1000%?

The answer I arrived at, after literally minutes of research, is ‘god knows’.

From what (admittedly little) I have seen, Koscielny looks to be similar to Birmingham’s Liam Ridgewell in his build and style (he can cover at full-back and weighs in with his fair share of goals), with the only noticeable difference being the exotic name – and in all honesty, would you pay €15 million for Liam Ridgewell? Nah.

I’m not saying Ridgewell is a bad player – I actually happen to rate him quite highly – but he’s not in the £10m+ leagues is he?

* * * * *

Here’s a short profile for those of you who are still reading…

Koscielny apparently enjoyed an impressive season at the heart of the Lorient defence last term,  yet without making much of an impact outside of France – except, perhaps, for a fleet of Arsenal scouts.

Despite not being a particularly tall centre-back (I guess 6’1” doesn’t pass for ‘tall’ anymore) he is a dangerous presence at set-pieces, notching many of his goals from corners and free-kicks (Ridgewell?).

Although a French native, Koscielny qualifies to play for Poland through his parents’ nationality. He has snubbed advances from the Polish national team in the past but, after missing out of France’s World Cup squad, has since applied for dual citizenship.

Finally, and perhaps rather worringly for Arsenal fans, amongst the very few videos of Koscielny in action on t’web is this offering…

The video features the young defender being sent off after tangling with recent Gunners recruit Marouane Chamakh during his Bordeaux days.

To be fair, the red is very harsh – and Koscielny did score for Lorient during this very same game.

* * * * *

Obviously, it wouldn’t be fair of me to criticise a player I’ve never seen play, but I’d have to question whether Koscielny is truly worth in excess of £10 million.

He’s young and therefore has plenty of room for improvement (which he seems to be showing signs of on a yearly basis judging by the stats) but on the whole he looks a little too slight to be able to convincingly deal with the Didier Drogbas and the Kevin Davies of the Premier League on a weekly basis, although I said the exact same thing about Thomas Vermaelen and he turned out alright didn’t he?

I’d be interested to hear what the Arsenal fans out there think about this ‘ere prospective acquisition, seeing as though your manager is seemingly ready to go all out to secure his signature.

Do you reckon that Koscielny could be the man to shore up your defense? Or could that €15 million be put to much better use elsewhere?

Posted in Arsenal, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Oki says:

    i would prefer someone a bit more taller than 6ft, but I dont think he’ll sign cos he has been in the news and wenger never reveals his transfer dealings until its done look at Vemerlen.

    ANd no Chamakh doesnt count!! lol

  2. FREDDY KOIGI says:

    He will be a good signing, Wenger knows how to sign good unknowns and bad knowns.

    The last “known and proven” player he signed was Mikael Silvestre. In that case – I prefer to dwell on “unknown”.

  3. gaya says:

    As you said, you do not know him or heard of him and neither have you heard of 90% of footballers in the world of football.
    so i think it is wise you leave that to those who know and have a duty too.
    You also said you had the same views about T.V. till he proved you wrong so maybe you should learn from that and stick to supporting your club and watching football.
    If he is th man to fill in in defence so be it

  4. Baz Thompson says:

    You’re an idiot.

  5. Andrew says:

    First Arsenal made a 5 million euro bid then 8 and now 10 million euro with money upfront
    Koscielny is a very technically gifted defender(the way we like it), can play both RB and LB and obviously CB.
    He is 186cm not tall by today standards but Sol is 187cm so height wise he’s okay I guess
    He has a great leap like Vermaelen,very speedy, he is a very clean tackler and rarely gives away a free kick or gets a yellow card
    He was named the defender of the year last year in league 2 then named in the team of year this year in League 1 in France.

    He’s cheap, good and the right age and that’s way we like to sign our players under wenger. I am hoping he will be the next Vermaelen and both him and Vermaelen will be the bed rock of our defense for years to come but we will find out when the season starts how good he really is !!

    Arsenal have now submitted another bid which will have little or no bonuses just a simple 10 million euro bid their last bid was rejected because they we offering 8 million but only 5 upfront and 3 million in bonuses and after Koscielny specific games for us

    Hope this info and he’s more like Cahill than Ridgewell just half the price

  6. aqqe says:

    If Wenger spends £15m on a player I will bet the house that I live in that the player will be in the team of the year next season.

  7. Samuel says:

    So basically, you watched a footballer on youtube and came up with an opinion. Good to know this is an informed opinion.

    Arsenal scouts watch a player 30+ times before making a decision. They consider prozone stats. And being a player from France, I’m sure Wenger has enough eyes and ears he can consult to make sure he is making the right decision.

    Also I wish Arsenal fans or anyone else for that matter were not so naive after 14 years. ‘Wenger buys someone we don’t recognise the name of, oh no!’ Because it turned out so badly with [list of half the players who have played for Arsenal in the past decade].

  8. Gareth says:

    If Wenger wants him then he’s good enough. Simples.

  9. Chris says:

    @Samuel: That’s kind of the point mate.

    Please understand that this is not an anti-Arsenal/Wenger dig, it’s just that I’d literally never heard of him before (whereas I usually have at least a passing knowledge of most players who get linked with big-money moves to Prem clubs).

    There is precious little info available on him, so if you can enlighten me then I’d be very appreciative.

  10. Zama says:

    15 mil is way way too much, esp. for someone without CL or international experience. Now if he was a Brit that would be fair price eh?

  11. Fgjk says:

    Who said he was worth 10mil + everywhere else it says that we offered 8.5mil for him. I think you need to get the facts right

  12. Ollie says:

    Okay, I’m gonna come out and say it – some of you Gooners are acting like dicks here. This isn’t an Arsenal site, it isn’t an anti-Arsenal site. It’s a football-loving site. Enjoy it or get your Arsenal news elsewhere.

  13. joeygunz says:

    I’m just happy to see wenger trying to get a good central defender he may not be the player i wanted (Lucio) but at least he is not a twelve year old 5’6 defender who is going to be the next best thing.

    We needed a winger striker= Chammakh, we need a defender to replace sylvertre/Gallas=kioshinly/Hangerland, we need a good experienced goalkeeper to be solid and be steady=Buffon,Hart,/shawtrzer.
    so all we need now is a keeper.

  14. Tom says:

    Chamakh looks like a diving bastard he wasnt touched

  15. GunnerPete says:

    This is weird. I may be the only Gunner who has seen this bloke play. We were in France on Hols early this year and watched Lorient play whoever on their TV….Koscielny was good but nothing stood out to say heres another Vidic etc. In fact I was more impressed with their CF a bloke called Gignac…he scored a hatrick and looked a star. The only thing I remember is that the defence was sound…if that helps. To say AFC willm spend mor on him that Vermaelen is stupi because we could get young Jones from Blackburn for £5mill and he is going to play for England soon. In fact we could get Jones and Hangerland for 15 mill plus send Senderos to Fulham….now that would be a deal.

  16. Gooner says:

    Am i the only one that noticed that he gave the ball away in the first place and then was very clumsy

  17. Old Gooner says:

    For the money we seem to be paying you would have thought he would be playing international football.

    This does not make sense to me , we should as Wenger said, be only going for World class players, is he world class no he isnt.

    Come on Wenger are you losing it !

  18. Adan Keys says:

    wenger wont spend 15m on a cente half, especially 1 without cl or international experience. end of

  19. Steeve says:

    I am glad you really did your homework on this player.
    What a bull$hit article. What a waste of time.
    I am sure you were aware of the talents of Vieira, Anelka and Toure
    when they came to Arsenal.

  20. arsenal for live says:

    did you know varlamin befort

  21. steveyj says:

    erm jones won’t be playing for england… because he’s welsh, and jones for 5mill your having a laugh, try between 8 and 10 considering the fact he signed a 5yr deal with blackburn in may.

    As for Koscielny, who cares how he played in the french league, The french league is completely different to the english league. What i do trust is the judgement of the scouts whom have watched the guy a numerous amounts of times and know full well whether he’s the man to replace gallas or not. and the current bid is 8.5mill and he is nothing like ridgewell or cahill in playing style. Dudes get your facts right, do your research properly and blog your heart out

  22. BigL says:

    what a bunch of moaners, did you actually read the bloggers article before you decided to give him a hard time? Perhaps the bit at the very top of the article “I’d never heard of him” would have been a clue. If you are going to post a comment and slag off the blogger the least you could do is read the article first.

    @Chris. I haven’t heard of him either. The price increase is a strange one. I’m not sure how they justify a huge price increase in a single season.

  23. john says:

    i love the way everyone says 15million is too much:P prices for every single player is too much these days but honestly i think wenger knows a tad more about these players than everyone whos says its too much!just becauase you havnt heard of him doesnt mean he wont be good or worth the 15 mill ,, thomas vermaelen?????? if we bagged another one of him id pay double that

  24. Bellerin says:

    I’m reading this article now and it’s quite funny ofcourse. From all the scepticism, this player has grown into one of the top CBs in the league, won two FA Cups and now captains the team week in week out

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