Arsenal coach dithering over naming a Gunners captain and mishandling of Laurent Koscielny’s recovery from injury forced the 34-year-old defender into taking drastic action and force his exit from the London club in the summer.
He suffered a potential career-threatening Achilles injury during the second leg of the 2018 UEL semi-final defeat with Atletico Madrid and missed out being involved in Les Bleus subsequent World Cup-winning season.
Laurent underwent a painstaking period of rehabilitation and was able to make an emotional return after seven months out last winter. However, seeds of doubt had already been planted in Koscielny’s mind about Wenger’s successor, with Unai Emery taking until mid-August to confirm he would retain his status as Arsenal captain.
The Ivan Gazidis regime had already laid the groundwork for a potential new deal, but when the Gunners former chief executive jumped ship to Milan a matter of months after playing the decisive role in Unai Emery’s appointment, former France international was left in a state of limbo with regards to his long-term future.
Laurent was also said to have been perplexed at being asked to play in an FA Cup third-round tie at Blackpool, when the majority of the squad’s other senior footballers had been rested, only four days after completing 90 minutes with Fulham.
Without the lure of Champions League football and the offer of a one-year contract on reduced terms on the table, Koscielny effectively went on strike and forced through a move to Bordeaux after Gunners agreed on a €5m fee.