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

12:34 11 June 2012

Laurent Koscielny, France

Laurent Koscielny, France

EMPICS Sport

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
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Arsenal news

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Arsenal's Theo Walcott gestures to the fans (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Our season review continues with a look at the five players who went backwards this season.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Arsenal's new signing Granit Xhaka has 41 caps for Switzerland(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

West Ham are currently the only London side playing a pre-season friendly in the capital ahead of the 2016/17 Premier League season.

Friday, May 27, 2016
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 27: England players celebrate with Marcus Rashford after he scored in the first half during the International Friendly match between England and Australia at Stadium of Light on May 27, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Marcus Rashford scored after just two minutes to become the youngest player to score on their England debut while Wayne Rooney came off the bench to net as England beat Australia 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. Here’s how we rated England.

Friday, May 27, 2016
SIX-FOURS-LES-PLAGES, FRANCE - MAY 25: Lewis Baker of England (C) celebrates his side's first goal during the Toulon Tournament match between Paraguay and England at  Stade Antoinr Baptiste on May 25, 2016 in Six-Fours-Les-Plages, France. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

England Under-21s reached the final of the Toulon Tournament for the first time in 22 years after a 1-0 win over Japan.

Friday, May 27, 2016
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on May 14, 2016 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has refused to rule out a move to Spain with Barcelona reportedly interested in the Welsh international.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport