English Premiership

'It is time for me to go home' - Koscielny

Laurent Koscielny (Getty Images)
Laurent Koscielny (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Defender Laurent Koscielny has explained the thinking behind his decision to force through a move from Arsenal to Bordeaux this week.

The 33-year-old defender signed for the French club on Tuesday having refused to travel on Arsenal's pre-season tour to the USA as he tried to secure a transfer.

His unveiling video also angered some Gunners fans - and former striker Ian Wright - after he took off an Arsenal shirt to reveal a Bordeaux strip underneath.

Koscielny wrote on Instagram: "After nine years spent at Arsenal, I took the decision to leave. I have spent wonderful years with this club, nine years during which I learned, evolved, grew up.

"This experience made me the player I am today. My decision to leave has been discussed for months with my club, my team-mates, my coach, and it has been a well-thought decision.

"I see this departure like a new turning point in my life as a player but also in my life as a man and a family man.

"However, I hope you understand, and in any case, I cannot be thankful enough for these years past at Arsenal. I am aware of everything that the club and your supporters have brought to me.

"But it is time for me to go home so today my will is to join the @girondins (Bordeaux). This is a new challenge that I count on taking with determination."

Koscielny, who has been capped 51 times by France, joined Arsenal from Lorient in July 2010 and made 353 appearances, winning three FA Cups.

Wright hit out at the French club's unveiling video, claiming Koscielny showed a "level of disrespect" and accusing him of "trying to have a dig".

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