Olivier Giroud has revealed that ‘good friend’ and former team-mate Laurent Koscielny is ‘very hurt’ after the Arsenal captain refused to go on the club’s pre-season tour of North America.
The Gunners announced last week that the former France international had refused to fly to the United States and it is understood his decision came after his request to have his contract terminated and find a new club was rejected.
Giroud has since leapt to the defence of Koscielny by insisting that not all the details on the matter are clear before admitting that he feels ‘very sad’ for his compatriot.
Olivier Giroud (right) has shown his support for his ‘good friend’ Laurent Koscielny (left)
The Arsenal captain is attempting to force through a move away from the club
Giroud told BBC Sport: ‘You cannot make a judgement when you don’t have all the clues. I’m pretty sure we don’t know everything in this situation.’
The Chelsea striker, who played for Arsenal between 2012 and 2018, added: ‘I hope both sides will find the best agreement.
‘I feel very sad for him because he’s a great person and the media wants to give a bad image of him.
‘I’m not at the club, I don’t know what really happened – but one thing for sure is Lolo is very hurt by what’s happening and he’s an emotional person.’
Another of Koscielny’s former team-mates Mathieu Flamini also showed his support for the defender on Instagram.
The pair played together at Arsenal before Giroud (left) made the switch to Chelsea in 2018
Giroud (centre) spends some quality time with Koscielny (left) and Spurs’ Hugo Lloris (far right)
Flamini posted an old picture of the pair on a plane with the caption: ‘Lolo, my thoughts and support are with you.
‘First and foremost, I know how committed and true to the Arsenal badge you have been all these years. Furthermore, I know how hard it must be for you to face this difficult situation.
‘Emotions run high so sometimes with reflection, one can look at things from a different perspective. Given all of the above, I’m sure a positive solution will be found.’
It was revealed on Tuesday that Arsenal boss Unai Emery spoke to Koscielny three times in a forlorn attempt to get his captain on the club’s pre-season tour.
Mathieu Flamini (L) also showed his support for former team-mate Koscielny (R) on Instagram
Unai Emery has revealed he tried to persuade Laurent Koscielny to come on tour three times
ARSENAL’S PRE-SEASON FIXTURES:
July 16 – vs Colorado Rapids (3-0 win)
July 18 – vs Bayern Munich (4am) – Dignity Health Sports Park, California
July 20 – vs Fiorentina (11pm) – Bank of America Stadium, North Carolina
July 24 – vs Real Madrid (12am) – FedEx Field, Washington
July 24 – vs Barnet (U23s team) (7:45pm) – The Hive, Barnet
July 28 – vs Lyon (3:15pm) – The Emirates
July 31 – vs Angers (7:30pm) – Stade Raymond Kopa, France
Aug 4 – vs Barcelona, Joan Gamper Trophy (7pm) – Nou Camp, Spain
Following the Gunners’ 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids, Emery was quizzed on the situation regarding Koscielny and the Spaniard admitted he had spoken to the 33-year-old defender on numerous occasions but had been unable to convince him to travel.
‘He started training with us this pre-season and I spoke with him three times for his situation,’ Emery said at his post-match press conference.
‘We wanted him to come with us on this tour but he decided to stay. Now it is a matter for the club and for the player.
‘We spoke with a good spirit for both the team and him but this is his decision, only his decision. He’s speaking only with the club.’
It remains to be seen if Koscielny has a future at the Emirates Stadium following his decision and he continues to be linked with a return to France.