Wilshere questions decision to pick Liverpool's Sakho over Koscielny

Jack Wilshere

The Gunners midfielder believes Laurent Koscielny is the best centre-back in the Premier League and was puzzled that he didn't start for France.

Didier Deschamps' side were knocked out of the World Cup after a limp quarter-final display that saw them lose 1-0 to Germany.

Mats Hummels got the winning goal for the Germans after outjumping Raphael Varane, with France failing to offer much in the way of resistance thereafter.

However, it was the decision to start Mamadou Sakho over Koscielny that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere took issue with over Twitter, asserting that the 28-year-old is the best centre-back in the Premier League.

France hadn't conceded a goal with Sakho in the team before the quarter-final, although after the 1-0 defeat to Germany, they only conceded one less with Sakho in the team than with Koscielny.

Koscielny has had a highly effective season in which he helped Arsenal finally end their nine-year trophy drought and win the FA Cup, prompting many to question why he hasn't started every game in Brazil.

  TeamPosGoals ConcededWon TacklesEffective ClearancesInterceptions WonAppsMins
Laurent Koscielny France DF 2 0 18 2 4 223
Mamadou Sakho France DF 1 1 14 3 4 288

As Opta stats show, there has not been much between the defenders at the World Cup, with Sakho winning one more tackle and interception, though Koscielny has made four more clearances. The Gunners defender has, though, played less minutes.

The Liverpool centre-back was eventually forced off with injury against Germany, with Arsenal man Koscielny replacing him.

The 24-year-old did not suffer a particularly bad performance for the French national side but did stutter on the ball occasionally. Perhaps the inclusion of Koscielny from the start would have provided Deschamps' men with more attacking urgency, however.

Arsenal man Olivier Giroud will join the defenders on the plane back home from Brazil, although Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski will now contest a semi-final clash against either Brazil or Colombia with Germany.

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