A heavily publicised recent problem at Arsenal is that our best players have been allowed to run down their contracts to below two years, giving them and potential bidders more bargaining power. Although this wasn’t necessarily the case with Cesc Fabregas, who left for his boyhood club, we can certainly see the problem right now with the likes of van Persie and Walcott.
Finally, Arsenal seem to be doing something about it. Vermaelen re-signed on a long term deal during the season, and now Lauren Koscielny has followed suit. Following a superb second season at the club and a call-up to the Euros, Wenger has decided to extend his contract (probably along with a nice wage rise).
Given that he arrived on the back of just one season in Ligue 1, and had previously been playing in Ligue 2 (as recently as 2009!), I’m sure he didn’t initially require a massive salary. This new contract should reward him with a more “Premier League” level wage, although I’m sure that wasn’t the only reason he signed a new deal. Both the player and the club wanted to secure the future with a long term deal, thought to be until 2017.
Wenger has said the following about the Frenchman:
“Laurent has been outstanding for us over the last two seasons. When you consider that until 2009 he was playing in Ligue 2 in France and that he is now performing at the very top level in the Premier League and for his country, the development that he has shown has been absolutely exceptional. Laurent is a top-class player and I am very pleased he has decided to commit his future to the Club.”
The BBC notes that no player has made more appearances in the last two seasons than Koscielny, who has made 85 in all competitions. He was thrust into first-team action in his first season due to Vermaelen’s long-term injury, and despite that moment at Wembley, he has adapted incredibly to the rigours of English football. It is especially impressive when you consider the amount of counter-attacks, set pieces and physical players that are typically used against this ‘weak’ Arsenal team.
Koscielny has made a statement which could’ve been copied and pasted from Vermaelen’s:
“I’m delighted to have reached agreement with the Club. I have had a fantastic time here and look forward to an exciting future with Arsenal.”