Chelsea star ‘defends’ former teammate

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Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has leapt to the defence of his long-time French international team-mate, Laurent Koscielny, claiming that the 33-year-old defender is ‘very hurt’ by the ugly contract stand-off that has developed in recent weeks.

Giroud remarked that Koscielny is hurt by the ordeal and that the media portrayal of him is inaccurate. Giroud would go on to say:

“You cannot make a judgement when you don’t have all the clues. I’m pretty sure we don’t know everything in this situation,” he said.

“Lolo is a good friend of mine, I’ve known him now for 10, 11 years. We played together in the second division [at Tours in Ligue 2].

“He’s been playing for Arsenal for nine years; he’s been the skipper for so many years – very respectful, very professional, always the best example for the young players.

“The club gave him the opportunity to play at Arsenal, and it was a big, big opportunity for him to show his quality in the Premier League. I think he has always been grateful about that and respectful to the club. I don’t understand how we have got to this situation.

“I feel very sad for him because he’s a great person and the media wants to give a bad image of him.

“I’m not at the club, I don’t know what really happened – but one thing for sure is Lolo is very hurt by what’s happening and he’s an emotional person.”

Giroud’s comments to the BBC come after the Arsenal captain sensationally refused to join Unai Emery and his team on their pre-season tour of the United States. It is thought that both Koscielny and Arsenal were in talks about a new contract some time in May, but couldn’t agree on the finer details, with Koscielny being disappointed by their offer.