Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suggested to Arsenal’s official Sound Cloud channel that he feels defender Laurent Koscielny has dealt with two problems, which faced him when he first joined the club.
Wenger suggested on soundcloud.com that the French centre back is now a very experienced player, with a skillset which has helped him to become more confident as he goes about big games in the club’s backline.
“Laurent is now getting towards his best. He had a lack of experience when he came here but when I watched him, I saw the potential in him,” said the Frenchman.
“He had a lack of confidence but now he’s getting a stature; he has pace, he has technique, he has an understanding of the game and he has intelligence.”
One of the first names on the team sheet
Koscielny is one of the first names down on the team sheet every week, predominantly because he’s one of the quickest players in the Arsenal back four.
His pace allows the Gunners to push forward and maintain a high defensive line, which gives the midfield and the attack a better chance of putting the opposition under pressure.
He’s become a very reliable player for Wenger and someone who complements the other defenders around him well.
Challenges he still needs to address
One of the arguable challenges that Koscielny still needs to address is the number of risks he takes.
He does have pace to burn, but he’s a player who does like to get stuck in when the Gunners play high up the pitch.
Those risks don’t always pay-off with the Champions League game against Monaco at the Emirates last season, a good example of what can happen when the Arsenal defence doesn’t get things right.
Hopefully he can continue to learn while strengthening his skillset as Arsenal chase success on multiple fronts next season.