Koscielny in bid to appease Gunners fans after former captain's exit causes anger
PUBLISHED: 08:49 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:49 07 August 2019
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Former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny sent a message to disgruntled supporters following his controversial move to Bordeaux on the eve of the new Premier League season.
The 33-year-old defender signed for the French club on Tuesday, having refused to travel on Arsenal's pre-season tour to the United States as he tried to secure a transfer.
His unveiling video also angered some Gunners fans - including 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 in my life as a man and a family man.
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"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 you 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.
He suffered a ruptured Achilles in the Europa League semi-final defeat against Atletico Madrid in April 2018, in the final days of Arsene Wenger's long reign as manager.
But he returned to first-team action towards the end of last season and appeared in the Europa League final defeat against Chelsea in Baku, which proved to be his last appearance for the club.
Wright scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal to surpass Cliff Bastin as the club's all-time leading scorer, before his total was eclipsed by Thierry Henry, and 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".