Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has revealed he has rejected interest from other clubs in the past and has assured the Gooners that he is happy at the club and could end up finishing his career with the north London club.
The 30-year-old center-back helped his side return to the top of the Premier League, ahead of Leicester City on goal difference, after they dug out a barren draw at Stoke City on Sunday.
The France international has established himself as one of the most reliable center-backs in the Premier Leagues after what is often described as a trick beginning his Arsenal career, and has grown to be a great part of Arsene Wenger’s defense squad having concede only 21 goals in 22 league appearances this term.
The former Lorient player, who is currently on his sixth season with the north London Club, has declared his intention to remain at the Emirates, despite the interest of other potential suitors such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Koscielny has understands the importance of Wenger’s squad and the consistent regular first team football that has earned him a name at the club and international level.
He told Journal du Dimanche: “For the moment, I have no reason to go anywhere else. I have all that I need to thrive here. I have had contacts [with other clubs], but I always asked myself if it was worth taking the risk. I have seen a fair amount of players leave for a bigger club just to find themselves on the bench.”
“At the start of my career, I was often on the bench. I hated it. I told myself: never again. I made risky choices: by leaving Guingamp for Tours, in the National [3rd division], I did not know where I was going. But I knew that I had the abilities for Ligue 1.”
Showing that he hates the fact that the Gunners have to deal with injury crisis every season, Koscielny said: “We need to progress consistently and to beef up our squad. Actually we are there, but we lose too many elements through injury during the season. It is difficult when you cannot count on four or five people for six months. ”
”It is like that every year, I do not know where it comes from. That stops us from getting to the level of the top 5 teams.”
Speaking on Arsenal’s spirit to win the League this season, the center-back appreciates that winning the FA Cup has given them the spirit to work hard as a team.
“The title can’t be taken for granted but I prefer to be in this position than to be chasing after the others,” he said.
“There are four months left to play so it will be complicated. The Premier League is becoming more of a level playing field. Average teams can recruit very good players [due to TV money] which until now had only joined the top five teams.”
“But after 10 years without a trophy, the FA Cup wins have done us good. For the past three years, we’ve kept our spine. We know each other better so that allows us to win matches that we would have lost before.”