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Giroud offers insight on Koscielny-Arsenal rift

Giroud offers insight on rift between Laurent Koscielny and Arsenal

July 16, 2019 By Ali M.
The club captain has refused to report for pre-season duty and has received widespread criticism, but his countryman asks people not to jump to conclusions.

While players going on protest isn't new to football, it's unusual to see this behaviour from captain. It's for this reason that when Arsenal announced Laurent Koscielny refused to report for pre-season duty, everyone was left flabbergasted.

The Frenchman has been at the Emirates Stadium for nine long years and despite only being named permanent captain last summer upon Mertesacker's departure, he has been a leader in the dressing room for quite a while. However, with only 12 months left on his contract, it is being claimed that he has gone AWOL in an attempt to have his deal terminated so he can return to his home country for free.

Olivier Giroud has weighed in with his thoughts on the matter and has offered insight on the rift between the Gunners and their skipper. The two were team-mates prior to their time together in north London and are very close as a result.

The striker, who currently plies his trade at Chelsea, insisted that there is more to this than meets the eye. Hailing the center-back as "very respectful, very professional" and an example to younger players, he asked that people refrain from making judgement as there is very little info as to what caused this fallout.

"You cannot make a judgement when you don't have all the clues. I'm pretty sure we don't know everything in this situation," the World Cup winner said in an interview with David Ornstein of BBC Sport.

"Lolo is a good friend of mine. I've known him now for 10, 11 years. We played together in the second division [in France, at Tours].

"He's been playing for Arsenal for nine years; he's been the skipper for so many years – very respectful, very professional, always the best example for the young players.

"The club gave him the opportunity to play at Arsenal, and it was a big, big opportunity for him to show his quality in the Premier League. I think he has always been grateful about that and respectful to the club. I don't understand how we have got to this situation.

"I feel very sad for him because he's a great person and the media wants to give a bad image of him.

"I'm not at the club, I don't know what really happened – but one thing for sure is Lolo is very hurt by what's happening and he's an emotional person."

A resolution is yet to be struck and it's hard to see one happening after the captain refused to travel with the club to the USA. Whether Koscielny's side of the story will emerge and put him in a good light remains unknown. Should the 33-year-old leave, Emery will have to dive into the transfer market to find a successor to the experienced defender but there is little word his replacement. 

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