3 best Arsenal centre-backs of the Emirates era

  • Arsenal haven't been blessed with an endless list of stout centre-backs since moving to Emirates
  • William Saliba has helped turn defensive fortunes under Mikel Arteta
  • Laurent Koscielny & Per Mertesacker developed stout partnership
Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages
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1. Laurent Koscielny

Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Ryo Miyaichi
Arsenal v Stoke City - Premier League / Ian Walton/GettyImages

Laurent Koscielny joined the club from Lorient in 2010 and spent nine years at the club before departing for Bordeaux in 2019. Towards the end of his Arsenal career, Koscielny was used to paper over the cracks of a weak Gunners defence, but he was at his strongest alongside Per Mertesacker.

Made club captain following the retirement of his former centre-back partner, Koscielny formed a formidable partnership alongside Mertesacker reminiscent of the current form of Arsenal’s Saliba and Gabriel.

Koscielny made 255 appearances in the Premier League, keeping 90 clean sheets and maintaining a tackle success rate of 71% across nine years. The Frenchman won three FA Cups and three Community Shields in his Arsenal career.

However, relations were soured when Koscielny forced his way out of the club, blaming manager Unai Emery for mismanaging his return from a serious Achilles injury. His retirement from football at Bordeaux also came about in strange circumstances, with the Frenchman exiled from the starting 11.