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Ian Wright issues desperate plea to under-fire Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny

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Ian Wright has criticised Laurent Koscielny’s decision to sit out Arsenal’s pre-season tour (Picture: YouTube)

Ian Wright has urged Laurent Koscielny to reconsider his decision to sit out Arsenal’s pre-season tour of America and believes the club captain has set an appalling example to the group of youngsters hoping to force their way into Unai Emery’s first team plans.

Koscielny informed Emery of his decision to boycott the tour on Thursday, aggrieved at not being granted the opportunity to leave the club he had previously served with such distinction for nine years on a free transfer, 12 months before his contract expires.

The 34-year-old is also said to be disgruntled with the way his playing schedule was managed following his return fom injury after seven months out with an Achilles injury, and is also reportedly dismayed by the direction in which the club is headed as Arsenal embark on a third successive season without Champions League football.

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Wright believes the Frenchman has been poorly advised, but fears his actions are likely to have a detrimental impact on the likes of Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe who will be vying for first team places this season after spells on loan in Germany last term.

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Wright said: ‘For our captain who has been there for nearly 10 years, to get to a station where he is giving us unbelievable service. ‘We’ve seen him play through the pain, build a legacy and a legendary status he deserves.

‘I have to question Laurent’s loyalty and love for the club to do this in pre-season, when you are the captain with young players, a time in the season when everyone should be together.

‘This is going to be a tough season for Arsenal because we are in transition and we have a lot catching up to do. For our captain to refuse to go on a pre-season tour after nine years of unbelievable service to destroy your legacy at a club that you’ve to professed to love it’s baffling.

‘Why? Who are you advisors? What are they saying to you? Your’e the one who has built up this legacy which is why the fans love you so much. You’re our captain, you’re our leader.

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‘Now our captain is refusing to go on the pre-season tour. How to you think that looks for Emile Smith Rowe who is blasting back into the squad?

How does it feel for Reiss [Nelson] or [Joe] Willock or all those young guys coming through now to see the captain after all those years of service refuse to go?

‘This is something that I literally cannot get my head round. I’m so disappointed in your decision to do this. And if your agents see this, and I hope you do, shame on you for convincing him. There is no way he has come up with this on your own.

‘We don’t need this right now at Arsenal, we are behind the eight ball. We don’t need our leaders coming out doing things like this. It doesn’t set a good example to the numbers.

‘I love you Laurent but this is a poor decision to make.’

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