Few would doubt the importance of Laurent Koscielny to Arsenal’s excellent form in the second half of the season, with the French defender forming a formidable partnership with Per Mertesacker that was the basis of Arsenal’s unbeaten run.
Koscielny even popped up with the crucial winning goal at Newcastle United that confirmed Arsenal’s place in next season’s Champions League play-offs, the second year in a row that he had scored a final day winner to keep his team ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in the league.
The 27-year-old’s form has not gone unnoticed, and Arsenal fans will be wary of the reports linking him with a switch to Barcelona or Bayern Munich, with Koscielny himself suggesting he would look to leave the Emirates at some stage if he did not feel he could win trophies there.
However how worried should Arsenal fans be, and is there an argument for saying that if they were offered a fee of around £17million, then it might be best to cash in on Koscielny this summer?
Koscielny is a fine player, but he is not always the most consistent, and must take his share of the blame for Arsenal’s defensive troubles in the middle of the season.
With that in mind, it could be reasonable to suggest that with £17million in the bank, Arsenal could replace Koscielny with a younger defender of similar quality, and if they strengthen their options in the middle of the park with a new defensive midfielder, they could be just as solid at the back even without the Frenchman.
It is always risky to sell an important player on the basis that you can replace them, but in this situation Arsenal could be wise to cash in on Koscielny’s current reputation, which might be inflated slightly on the back of an excellent couple of months at the end of a season where he was not always so impressive.
Arsenal fans, what do you think? Should Arsene Wenger let Koscielny go at the right price, or is it too risky to disrupt a winning formula at the back?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald