Euro 2012: Arsenal star could get surprise call-up for France v England

12:34 11 June 2012

Laurent Koscielny, France

Laurent Koscielny, France


Laurent Koscielny may replace Philippe Mexes at the back for Les Bleus

Laurent Koscielny has admitted that he owes his call-up to the France squad to Arsene Wenger as the Gunners defender prepares to face England in the Group D opener in Donetsk.

Koscielny was uncapped by France when he signed for the Gunners two years ago and was considering playing for Poland, the birthplace of his grandfather.

But the Arsenal centre-back was called into the France squad at the end of his first seasonat the Emirates, made his senior debut back in November and won his fourth cap against Estonia last week.

And the 26-year-old said this week: “Nobody can doubt that I have improved as a footballer since I have been at Arsenal.

“I am clearly noticing that and it’s a personal effort with the help of the manager. For me, Wenger has been a key person in my life because of the opportunity he gave me. I will always be grateful to him.

“At Arsenal I have grown physically and mentally. The media pressure and environment is very different in France and England, as well as the game itself. I don’t know where I would be now if I had stayed in the French league. Perhaps I wouldn’t be in the reckoning for the national team.”

Injury to Tottenham’s Younes Kaboul and the poor form of Philippe Mexes has even raised the possibility of Koscielny starting against England in Donetsk, with a possible match-up against his Arsenal team-mates Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“The game against England is the worst way of starting the tournament, but the draw decided it like that and we have to approach it with the aim of winning the three points,’ said Koscielny.

“I know all of the rival players, but I hope neither Theo [Walcott] nor Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain] have their day. I hope they qualify afterwards, but only after France win this one.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest Arsenal news

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
James Collins and Branislav Ivanovic

With transfer month coming up in the new year, many players will be thinking about their futures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Calum Chambers of Arsenal takes on Jack Harper of Brighton (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Calum Chambers, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Alex Iwobi all started for Arsenal Under-21s in a 2-1 win over Brighton Under-21s on Monday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
DeAndre Yedlin may be on loan to Sunderland from Tottenham Hotspur at the moment, but he has spoken in the past about his fondness for Hampstead

Tottenham loanee DeAndre Yedlin is hoping to do his parent club a favour when he faces Arsenal on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Kingsley Coman of France in action (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he came very close to signing French winger Kingsley Coman.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez in action against Norwich (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry says Arsene Wenger should have rested Alexis Sanchez for Saturday’s game against Norwich.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


Win a beautiful monochrome tunic dress with Great British Life!

Great British Life is offering a beautiful monochrome silk tunic dress worth £179 to one lucky reader

Read more
Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more

Latest Tech News