LAURENT KOSCIELNY has announced his retirement from football aged 36 following a bitter January exit from Bordeaux.
The defender departed the Ligue 1 side after being frozen out, and hasn’t found a club in the meantime.
Laurent Koscielny was part of the Arsenal team battered 4-1 in BakuCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The former France international also left Arsenal on poor terms back in 2019, following nine years in North London.
Despite being club skipper, Koscielny refused to jet out on their pre-season tour in order to force through a transfer.
He eventually got his wish, meaning that the 2019 Europa League final was the last of his 353 appearances for the club.
Unai Emery’s side were mauled 4-1 by Chelsea that day, with their former forward Olivier Giroud coming back to haunt the Gunners that day – while Eden Hazard put on a masterclass to bring his time at Stamford Bridge to an end.
Arsenal’s starting XI that day featured just two players that remain with the club to this day.
Granit Xhaka started in midfield, while soon to be out of contract Alexandre Lacazette was upfront.
Petr Cech started between the sticks, in what was the final senior professional appearance of his career.
Koscielny was joined in a back three by Nacho Monreal, who would leave three games into the following season, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who was frozen out last year.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who technically remains an Arsenal player while currently out on loan at Roma, was at right wing-back, while Sead Kolasinac was deployed on the left.
The burly Bosnian was released in January and subsequently joined Marseille.
Lucas Torreira, another that is currently out on loan, partnered Xhaka in midfield, while Mesut Ozil played in the No10 position.
The German is at Fenerbahce these days but finds himself in hot water at the moment, having been axed from their squad indefinitely for a “verbal altercation”.
Emery turned to Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock and Alex Iwobi from the bench, with the latter managing to get himself on the scoresheet.
Unai Emery’s side suffered disappointmentCredit: Getty
The Gunners’ squad has seen a high turnover since that day in 2019Credit: Getty Images – Getty