Laurent Koscielny believes he’s currently enjoying his best ever season in an Arsenal shirt, and suggests that the changes he’s made to his game have made him a better defender, as reported by France Football (via Team Talk).
The Frenchman has long been our best defender, and while this hasn’t necessarily been his best season, he’s certainly playing top quality football. He’s far and away one of the best centre-backs in world football now, and his fitness has proved key to our success.
The 30-year-old is clearly happy at Arsenal, which is great news for us. We are at a point where we have to be strengthening rather than running the risk of losing our best players, so the fulfilment and happiness of our players is of the utmost importance.
Koscielny believes the adaptations and changes he’s made to his game have helped him reach this point in his career, and highlighted his improved patience and maturity as key factors.
“I think I’m having my best season at Arsenal and I hope there’s more to come,” Koscielny told France Football.
“I’ve found fulfilment at 30-years-old. I feel more serene on the pitch, I manage the game better. I’ve gone a step further compared to my first five years in England. I’ve grown continuously to get where I am today.
“I always try to take positives from my mistakes. I’ve stopped being so reflective. I’ve also changed my game. I used to put the emphasis on anticipation, trying to dispossess attackers by stealing opposition passes. It put me in dangerous situations.”
The international defender is one of the first names on the teamsheet when fit, and will more than likely take his place at the back once again this weekend. Whether he’ll continue alongside Gabriel Paulista or see Per Mertesacker return to the side we’ll have to wait and see, but we know we’ll need a performance if we want to get the win over Leicester City.
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A large part of Koscielny’s confidence in his play comes from the faith Arsene Wenger has shown in him, and after bringing him over from France he’s gone from strength to strength in an Arsenal shirt. He looked a liability at times when he first arrived in England, receiving more than his fair share of red cards, giving away several penalties, and scoring at the wrong end far too often. He’s now repaying Wenger’s faith though, and making us far more solid at the back than we’ve been in a long time.