Here is your Arsenal morning digest for Sunday, March 27.
Former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has announced his retirement from football after denying racism allegations. The French centre-half enjoyed nine productive years in north London, clinching three FA Cups.
However, he decided to leave in the summer of 2019, heading to Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux. The club’s ultras group, UB87, accused both Koscielny and goalkeeper Beniot Costil of racism following their 2-0 defeat to Montpellier earlier this month.
Now, the 36-year-old has released a statement via Sud Ouest, saying: “As a reminder, Laurent Koscielny has not been part of the professional staff of the club since the end of January 2022, he recalls that he is still an employee of the Girondins de Bordeaux. Laurent Koscielny intends to specify that he decided to hang up the crampons (boots) when he would have preferred to help the club on the field.
Read more: Paul Merson names the one Arsenal player that has proved him wrong this season
“Aware that the club was in difficulty, he accepted the proposal to hold a new position and release a salary proof of his concern for the best interests of the club. In this capacity, he would like to thank the club for the trust shown to him by entrusting him with this position.
“This mission is an extension of a career that has forced respect for all his partners, coaches and staff he has met both in the club and in the French team. Laurent Koscielny also shares the club’s position, which recalled in its press release that ‘no evidence to support these allegations has been brought to the attention of the Club, which in principle intends to exercise the utmost caution’.”
Tielemans transfer hint
Leicester City midfielder and reported Arsenal transfer target Youri Tielemans has dropped a huge hint that he wants his next club to play in the UEFA Champions League. “I don’t worry about it,” the Belgian international told Het Laatste Nieuws (via voetbalniews ).
“I want to get the most out of myself this season and finish as high as possible with the team.” He added: “Of course I want to play in the Champions League, like any footballer.
“Am I ready for a European top club? I’m ready to get the best out of my career.
“We’ll see what happens next summer, or the summer after that.”
Read the full story here.
Bent’s Odegaard claim
Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent has claimed that he wouldn’t swap Martin Odegaard for Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes if he was Mikel Arteta. When asked if he would take the former Sporting Lisbon midfielder at Arsenal, Bent told Talksport : “No, I wouldn’t – I’ll tell you that right now.
“No, I would not. Right now, I’d rather have Martin Odegaard with the way Arsenal are playing.”
He added: “I’m taking Odegaard in that role for Arsenal. He’s perfect for what Arsenal are doing right now.
“I wouldn’t swap him for Bruno. (Rafael) Van der Vaart at Spurs – he was better than Bruno.”
Read more here.