Thierry Henry says Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny is better than Vincent Kompany

Laurent Koscielny

Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny is preferred over Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany.

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry rates Laurent Koscielny as the best centre-back in the Premier League ahead of Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, Sky Sports report.

The current Sky Sports pundit was asked to name his combined Top Four best eleven and opted for his French compatriot over City’s Kompany – a decision which sparks an interesting debate.

“Vincent Kompany could have been in there [the combined eleven], too, but I'm picking Laurent Koscielny - he's the best defender in the league for me,” Henry explained.

Kompany has been widely regarded as the best centre-back in the Premier League over the past few years, captaining the Citizens to two league titles and a number of other honours.

However, Koscielny has gradually become a more predominant figure at the Emirates Stadium and his continued presence at the back has coincided with the club’s defensive improvements.

But which payer has performed better this season? Statistically there is one clear winner.

  Tackles per GameInterceptions per GameEffective Clearances per GameAerial Duels Won per GameDef Duel Won per GameBall Recoveries per GAMEAppearances
Laurent Koscielny 0.91 3.77 4.36 2.64 5.32 7.18 22
Vincent Kompany 0.44 1.44 4.22 2 3.22 6.11 9

As shown by the table provided by Opta, Koscielny has outshone Kompany in six key areas.

The France international has posted more tackles, interceptions, aerial duels won, defensive duels won, effective clearances and ball recoveries on average per Premier League encounter.

Koscielny has played more games this season due to Kompany’s struggles with injury, thus having more opportunities to make a bigger impact, yet he has maintained such impressive consistency.

When labelling Arsenal’s key players it’s easy to point to the likes of Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, but keeping Koscielny fit could be their biggest factor in this season’s title race.

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