Arsenal Transfer News: Laurent Koscielny Commitment Is Crucial for Gunners

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2013

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Laurent Koscielny (L) of Arsenal  steps away from Shane Long (R) of West Bromwich Albion during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on April 6, 2013 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Laurent Koscielny finished last season in top form. He played a key role in Arsenal narrowly edging out Tottenham for the final Champions League spot. Losing him over the summer would be major setback for the Gunners, who are seeking to make serious progress.

So it was great news for manager Arsene Wenger when Koscielny showed no signs of fading loyalty to the club. Arsenal have lost numerous key players in recent years and don't want him to become the latest name to join the list.

Sky Sports passed along comments the defender made to French outlet La Montagne in which he talked about remaining committed to his current four-year deal.

The 27-year-old is, however, tied to a long-term contract in north London and has no intention of breaking that agreement.

Koscielny told La Montagne: "I have a four-year contract. For now, I am still at Arsenal."

He also talked about how making the Champions League was vital.

He added: "The second leg of the Champions League against Bayern Munich was a trigger for us. In the process, we almost won everything.

The most important thing is that Arsenal is in the Champions League. It is super exciting to play against the best teams in Europe."

Arsenal struggled to maintain any level of consistency along the back line during the first half of the campaign. There were far too many communication errors and mental mistakes, highlighted by a stretch in November where the Gunners gave up nine goals in a four-match span.

Eventually, Wenger decided to give the central duo of Koscielny and Per Mertesacker a chance to develop some chemistry. It worked to near perfection as the defense solidified and Arsenal was able to squeak out the Champions League berth.

Without it, perhaps Koscielny is singing a different tune right now. Only he knows for sure, but his strong stretch ensured it never became an issue.

Assuming his stance doesn't change in the coming months, it allows Wenger to focus on other areas of need instead of seeking another center back. He could have opted to plug Thomas Vermaelen back into the lineup in that case, but that's a formula that didn't work nearly as well last season.

At 27, Koscielny should be entering his peak seasons. He possesses the pace, strength and aerial ability to handle just about any situation thrown in his direction. Add in the aforementioned chemistry with Mertesacker, and Wenger should be confident in the base of his defense.

On the flip side, the French international could have sought other opportunities on the market. But he's coming off one of his strongest campaigns to date, gets a chance to play in the Champions League and should have a starting spot locked up, at least to begin the season.

Should he have moved to a bigger club, there's a chance he would have been forced to fight for a spot in the starting 11. And it would have been tough to maintain top form if he landed on the bench for extended stretches. So staying with Arsenal is probably a wise move.

Few things are guaranteed when it comes to possible transfers, but the Arsenal brass can at least rest a little easier after Koscielny's comments.