'I did not disrespect Arsenal,' says Koscielny after transfer row

AFP , Wednesday 7 Aug 2019

Arsenal's French defender Laurent Koscielny (AFP)

Former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny insisted Wednesday that he had nothing but respect for the Gunners despite being told he "should be ashamed" of himself over the way his unveiling at Bordeaux was handled.

The 33-year-old penned a "rolling contract" with the French side on Tuesday but enraged Arsenal fans when a video showed him stripping off the red and white shirt of the London side to reveal the blue top of Bordeaux.

"You should be ashamed for the way you've left the club after nine years," tweeted former Arsenal striker Ian Wright.

"Got what you wanted and still trying to have a dig. Hope it's worth it in the long run."

However, the French international, who made clear his desire for a move last month when he refused to travel on Arsenal's pre-season tour of the United States, said he meant no disrespect.

"I have the greatest respect for Arsenal," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"I showed my respect on the pitch. As far as my transfer is concerned, that's not for me to discuss. I am now at Bordeaux with a match quickly approaching."

Koscielny joined Arsenal in 2010 from Lorient and played 353 games for the London side, winning the FA Cup three times.

He was named club captain at the start of last season following the retirement of Per Mertesacker but made just 17 league appearances after sitting out the first half of the campaign as he recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

"When the chance to move to Bordeaux arose, I weighed up the pros and cons. I thought it was a good choice," he added on Wednesday.

"I am very happy to be at this historic club."

The new Ligue 1 season begins this weekend with Bordeaux starting their campaign against Angers.

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