Thierry Henry says Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny is the best defender in the league

Laurent Koscielny

Laurent Koscielny has been superb for Arsenal this season.

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry says he regards Laurent Koscielny as the best defender in the Premier League, writing in his column for The Sun.

The Gunners head into their clash against Manchester City on Monday night five points behind surprise Premier League leaders Leicester City and just a solitary point ahead of their upcoming rivals.

Arsenal will have to make do without the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla who are all ruled out through injury, yet Henry feels it could be worse for his former side.

Writing in his column for The Sun, the Sky Sports pundit says Arsene Wenger’s side can count themselves quite fortunate that leading centre-back Koscielny has practically been fit all season.

“It’s lucky for Arsenal that Laurent Koscielny has been more or less available every week because he is probably their only outfield player who is irreplaceable,” Henry commented.

“I regard him as the best defender in the league at the moment.”

  Tackles per GameEffective Clearances per GameInterceptions per GameDuels Won per GameAerial Duels Won per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearances
Laurent Koscielny 0.86 4.29 3.71 5.57 2.79 8.07 14

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Koscielny has been a rock for Arsenal this season as he excels in a number of key defensive areas.

The former Lorient man averages an impressive 2.79 aerial duels won, 3.71 interceptions, 4.29 effective clearances, 5.57 defensive duels won and 8.07 ball recoveries per Premier League fixture.

His superb positioning and reading of the game means he is rarely forced into making tackles, while his speed and awareness also makes him ideal at covering for his fellow centre-back partner.

There is no coincidence that Arsenal’s superb defensive record this season coincides with Koscielny’s long run of games in the side, and he will prove vital in their bid to win the Premier League title.

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