Arsenal scout admits mistake in signing Koscielny … they should have signed him sooner!

Laurent Koscielny

Gilles Grimandi admits that Arsenal could have saved a fair bit of money on Laurent Koscielny.

Arsenal won 2-0 against Crystal Palace today, with goals from Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud doing the trick.

However, once again the club have kept a clean sheet, with the centre-back partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker proving to be indomitable.

Koscielny has humble beginnings, and when he was signed for £8.45 million from Lorient not many fans would have felt it possible that he would turn out to be this talented a player.

The French international had never played for his country at youth level, and he once had to leave Guingamp in Ligue 2 because he was simply not getting the football.

He went to Tours, which is where he made his name, and ended up at Lorient where he was spotted by Arsenal’s French scout Gilles Grimandi.

Well that is not exactly true, as Grimandi has announced today.

Speaking to French press the scout and former Arsenal player admitted his mistake on Koscielny, suggesting that they could have signed him when he was in Ligue 2 for much less - indeed Lorient only paid £1 million for the player.

Grimandi revealed:

"I saw him when he was at Tours in Ligue 2. We may have made ​​a mistake. We should have taken him when he was in League 2. I could not imagine his evolution. On Tuesday, you see a game in the Champions League and on Friday a meeting in Ligue 2 . And you have to ask yourself the question whether he can move from one level to another. "

The success of Koscielny certainly gives hope to any aspiring footballers out there, especially those who cannot get in the team at clubs in the Championship, or even League One.

The fact is that in just over six years Koscielny has gone from a bench player in Ligue 1 to a starter at the Premier League table toppers.

That is some rise to stardom.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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