Arsenal Furious as Capt. Laurent Koscielny Refuses to Join Team on Tour


Arsenal FC have a major situation on their hands as they begin their preseason exhibition tour of the United States. Their team captain, 33-year-old Frenchman Laurent Koscielny, has refused to join the team on their tour. Koscielny, who wants out of his Arsenal deal a year early so that he can move to a club in his native France, saw that request denied.

In his response, he has decided to hold out, and that prompted the north London side to release a brief but strong official statement, indicating the club have now opened disciplinary proceedings against the centre back.

“Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour,” the statement reads. “We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions.”

“We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

Koscielny has been strongly linked with a move to Bordeaux this summer, but also Rennes and Lyon. He suffered a serious knee injury against Atletico Madrid in May of 2018, which kept him out of action until this past December.

Arsenal flew out to Los Angeles, California today and they will begin their preseason slate of friendlies against the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday. Although there is no Laurent Koscielny in the side, here is the roster that the Gunners are bringing to the USA:

The Gunners will also take part in the International Champions Cup (a worldwide series of friendlies competition featuring some of the biggest clubs in Europe) this summer, with games against Bayern Munich in Los Angeles, Fiorentina in Charlotte and Real Madrid in Washington D.C.

The Gunners, who will open the season against Newcastle United on August 11, have a major headache and distraction on their hands now with this Koscielny situation. The preseason is not off to a good start.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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