Koscielny: I could have stayed at Arsenal and remained captain

Stefan Bienkowski
Stefan Bienkowski
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 3 min read
Koscielny: I could have stayed at Arsenal and remained captain
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Former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny believes he could have quite easily remained captain and an integral part of the team’s plans if he hadn’t made the decision to join Bordeaux in 2019. 

Despite making over 300 appearances for the Premier League club, Koscielny left Arsenal in a controversial manner. 

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After refusing to go on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, the defender then forced a move to Bordeaux and was later filmed by the Ligue 1 side removing his Arsenal top to show the colours of his new club.

Koscielny now admits he made the return to France to take a step back from the physical demands of the Premier League, but believes he could have also stayed put and helped the club avoid the situation they now find themselves in. 


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  • “I could have stayed at Arsenal and still be captain of the team, play for the top spots in the Premier League, but I’ve come to an age where I need to enjoy life,” the 35-year-old defender told France Football

    “It was one reason among others for coming back to France and I don’t regret it at all. After all, I’ve proven I’ve still got a winning mentality. 

    “I show my professionalism each day, my desire to progress, to share my experience, to give it to the young players and the staff who could leave in one, two, three, four years and benefit from my last years on the field.”

    Koscielny struggled with injuries throughout his time in London. Perhaps the most notable and unfortunate one came in the 2017/18 season, when an achilles tendon rupture ruled the defender out of action for 21 games. 

    As such, the French international made the decision to return to France to continue playing football at a less intense level. And it seems as though he has no regrets. 

    “Would I really want to finish my career at the highest level with big injuries because my body couldn’t play a match every three days?” asked the defender. 

    “I made the right choice to be able to express myself on the park but at a less intense cadence. Physically, I felt great. 

    “I spoke a lot with my agents. It was an important choice. I didn’t want to finish injured due to repetition and for my body to decide when my career would be over.”

    Read more about: Ligue 1, Premier League, Memphis Depay

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