8 duel winners, 7 clearances: Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny was superb at Watford

Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny was excellent against Watford.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny proved just how valuable he is in North London following his terrific display during his side’s 3-0 victory over Watford.

The 3-0 result suggests it was an easy afternoon for the Gunners, yet the score-line arguably flattered the visitors as they had to make some vital challenges during a competitive opening period.

Watford are a real handful at times and Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo are a match for anybody at Vicarage Road and Koscielny had to be at the very top of his game.

The France international was absent through injury in the win over Manchester United and doubts were raised as to whether he would be fit enough to feature against the Hornets.

Luckily for Arsene Wenger’s side and fellow defender Per Mertesacker in particular, he was.

  TacklesEffective ClearancesInterceptionsDuel WinnersAerial WinnersBall RecoveriesMins Played
Laurent Koscielny 4 7 6 8 2 7 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Koscielny put in a real shift as he impressed at the heart of Arsenal’s defence in a number of important defensive categories.

The 30-year-old contributed with two aerial winners, four tackles, six interceptions, seven effective clearances, seven ball recoveries and eight defensive duel winners.

Gabriel Paulista was solid enough during his appearance against United two weeks ago, yet Arsenal’s back four just seem so much more assured with Koscielny present.

The former Lorient man is like a fine wine who just gets better with age and after five seasons at the club, he can safely be regarded as one of Wenger’s finest ever defensive acquisitions.

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