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Koscielny still an 'important player' for Arsenal despite pushing for transfer, says Emery

12:50 PM IST 16/07/19
The French defender refused to travel for the Gunners' pre-season tour, but the club captain is still forming part of his manager's future plans

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery insists Laurent Koscielny is still "an important player" despite the uncertainty over the club captain's future.

Koscielny refused to travel to the United States for Arsenal's pre-season tour amid speculation over his future, with Lyon, Bordeaux and Borussia Dortmund linked with a move for the French defender.

Emery says the 33-year-old is still part of his plans, but admits a decision on what happens with Koscielny from this point is now in the club's hands.

“He has one year left on his contract.” Emery said after Arsenal's 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids on Monday

“For me as a coach he's an important player.

“Now it's one matter for him and the club. The club and him need to speak, they are speaking about his situation. I cannot say more than that.

“I spoke with him before he came here and he decided to stay there.”

Emery claims to have spoken with Koscielny multiple times about his situation before the centre-back opted against travelling.

The Spanish coach added: “He started training with us this pre-season and I spoke with him three times for his situation.

“We wanted him to come with us on this tour but he decided to stay. Now it is a matter for the club and for the player.”

While Koscielny retains the support of his manager for now, it has been suggested that a man who has spent nine years in north London is in danger of tarnishing his legacy.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright told his personal YouTube channel of an unfortunate saga: "He's given us unbelievable service, we've seen him play through pain and build a legacy and legendary status he deserves.

"It's the time in the season where everybody is meant to be together. We are in for a tough season, a transitional period, we need a lot of catching up.

"For our captain to refuse to go on a pre-season tour after nine years of unbelievable service, to destroy your legacy a little by refusing to play for a club is something that is baffling me.

"Why Laurent? Who are your advisers and what are they saying to you?

"I am so disappointed in your decision to do this at this time, if your agent sees this, and I hope they do, shame on you, shame on you, for doing this to him and convincing him. No way you can tell me he will come up with this on his own.”