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Laurent Koscielny admits rebuffing move away from Arsenal


Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has revealed that he has been the subject of interest from other clubs  since his move to England but has rejected leaving the north London outfit.The France international, who is one of the more complete center backs in the Premier League, claims that he is more than content with his current club.

“There were teams interested in me but I always asked myself if it was worth taking the risk,” Koscielny told Journal du Dimanche. “I’ve seen a good few players leave for a bigger club and find themselves on the substitutes (bench).”

Koscielny continued, “At the start of my career I was often on the bench. I hated it. I said to myself ‘never again.’ For the moment, I have no reason to go and look elsewhere. I have everything I need to develop myself.”

SEE MORE: Latest January transfer window deals and news.

The players in which Koscielny may be referring to could be Alex Song and Thomas Vermaelen. The former Arsenal duo both left the Emirates for Barcelona only to find themselves relegated to the bench for the majority of matches. Song, a Cameroon international, departed the Gunners in a £15 million deal in the summer of 2012. The defensive midfielder made just 29 starting XI appearances during La Liga play in two seasons before subsequently being loaned out to West Ham since 2014.

Vermaelen, Arsenal’s former captain, made the switch to the Catalan giants in 2014 for the same amount as the Song agreement. The center back has endured two injury-riddled seasons in Spain and has made only six La Liga appearances in the starting XI for Barcelona. In both cases of Song and Vermaelen, the players’ values have plummeted since departing Arsenal.

The current Arsenal center back, however, is thriving and is in a position to help guide the Gunners to their first title since 2004. “The title is not a given, but I’d rather be in this position than chasing the others,” said Koscielny. “There are four months left to play so it will be complicated. The Premier League is becoming more of a level playing field. Average teams can recruit very good players [due to TV money] which until now had only joined the top five teams.”

“But after 10 years without a trophy, the FA Cup wins have done us good,” the 30-year-old continued. “For the past three years, we’ve kept our spine. We know each other better so that allows us to win matches that we would have lost before.”

Arsenal supporters will surely be thrilled to hear news of Koscielny rebuffing interested from other big teams. “Kos the boss,” as he is affectionately known by Gooners, is a fan-favorite around the Emirates and has teamed with his defensive partners to help keep 10 Premier League clean sheets in 22 matches during the current campaign. Arsenal’s defense, with a major contribution by Koscielny, has been one of the team’s strong suits this season, an area that has given the Gunners issues in years previous.

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