Over the last few years, Arsenal have crumbled under pressure in their bid to win a first Premier League title since 2004. This season, the Gunners are looking strong ahead of what could be a memorable campaign – and Laurent Koscielny’s impressive form could prove crucial at the end of May.
If Arsene Wenger’s men are going to defy the odds and win the crown, they will need to be solid at the back; and that is where the Frenchman’s reliability and consistency will come in handy. After all, the Gunners have lacked a commanding centre-half for quite some time…
Koscielny has struggled for form in recent times but the Gunners centre-half has rebuilt his Arsenal career this season. As of October 10th , the 31-year- old is now widely regarded as one of the very best defenders in world football and Wenger will be hoping that he can stay fit for the majority of the campaign.
The Frenchman has been plagued by injury issues in recent years but appears to be back to his brilliant best; and Arsenal fans will be crossing their fingers that he stays that way as they look to challenge for the title.
At the time of writing, Arsenal are third in the Premier League table and many punters will be backing Wenger’s men to finally get their hands back on the English crown after a barren run.
The Gunners, priced at 6/1 in the football betting odds at Paddy Power, are certainly in with a great chance of at least pushing the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool close this season. And with Koscielny in fine form and helping to steady the ship in defence, Arsenal will be pushing for the title for the second year in succession. Furthermore, his goal-scoring prowess in the opposing penalty area makes him a potent threat at set-pieces. In fact, he became Arsenal’s highest scoring defender in Premier League history after netting an impressive overhead kick against Southampton.
Whilst his ability to score isn’t the main reason for his inclusion in the side, his threat at corners and free-kicks is key to Arsenal’s success – after all, his presence helps to distract defenders away from the likes of Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.
If truth be told, Koscielny’s rise to prominence has solved Arsenal’s defensive crisis; especially as he has formed a solid working relationship alongside Shkodran Mustafi. The France star has shone for the national side during the international break and Gunners fans will be quietly confident of a solid defensive front for the rest of the campaign.
Given time, the 31-year- old could be Arsenal’s most important player this year and Wenger’s elite central defensive option will be central to their title hopes. So keep an eye on Koscielny’s form and fitness; Arsenal will need the Frenchman to be at the top of his game to win the crown.