Today, Arsenal announced contract extensions for Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, and Francis Coquelin. All three Frenchmen have been important pieces in the squad in recent years, and all three have committed their futures to the club by penning long-term contracts.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had this to say about the extensions:
“We are very pleased that three important members of our team have committed to us for the long term. Francis has made tremendous technical strides over the past few years because he’s so focused every day.
"Olivier has big experience in the game now and has become a more and more complete player since joining us. Laurent is of course a key part of our squad and I believe one of the best defenders in the world today. So overall, this is great news for us.”
Giroud joined Arsenal from Montpellier in 2012 and was Arsenal’s leading scorer in 2015-16 with twenty-four goals in all competitions. He also helped France to the final of Euro 2016. This season, he has six starts and thirteen appearances off the bench, he has nine goals and four assists. In his career, he has 148 starts and fifty-eight substitute appearances, tallying a total of ninety-one goals and thirty-six assists, putting him as Arsenal’s second highest scoring Frenchman in history, behind Thierry Henry (228 goals).
Koscielny joined from Lorient in 2010 as a relative unknown, but has kicked on to be one of the most reliable centerbacks in the Premier League if not worldwide. Despite his position as a central defender, he does have a knack for scoring important goals. In his 273 appearances, Lolo has scored twenty-two goals, including decisive goals on the final day of 2011/12 and 2012/13 to secure Champions League qualification and the equalizer against Hull in the 2014 FA Cup Final, which Arsenal went on to win.
Francis Coquelin signed for Arsenal in 2008 as a teenager and broke regularly into the first team in the 2014-15 season after being recalled from loan from Charlton Athletic. He since has become a regular feature in Arsenal’s midfield. In his Arsenal career, Coquelin has made 100 starting appearances and thirty substitute appearances, notching two assists.
Locking down regular players for the club cannot be seen as anything other than a good thing, and all three players have played an important part in recent years. Congratulations to Olivier, Lolo, and Francis on their extensions!