Arsenal legend Tony Adams says Laurent Koscielny reminds him of Martin Keown.
Adams and Keown formed a fearsome centre-back partnership at the turn of the century, helping Arsène Wenger's side win the Double in 1998 and 2002.
More than a decade on Koscielny has been earning rave reviews for his performances at the heart of Wenger's back four. Adams is an admirer of the France international and he explained why after a run-out at the World Refugee Day charity match.
[When it came to] that tight, one-to-one defending, there wasn't a better player that I've played with [than Keown]. To put Koscielny in the same category is an enormous compliment I thinkTony Adams
"Koscielny was brilliant [at the end of last season]," Adams told Arsenal.com.
"He reminds me a lot of Martin Keown. He's very tenacious. I hate labelling people because Martin Keown was one of the best we've ever had. But there are similarities there, the way Koscielny marks and his last-ditch tackles.
"He's tenacious in the tackle. [When it came to] that tight, one-to-one defending, there wasn't a better player that I've played with, [than Keown]. To put Koscielny in the same category [to Keown] is an enormous compliment I think."
Adams also praised Mertesacker, whose relationship with Koscielny was vital to Arsenal's strong end-of-season form.
"I think he's a really nice boy and, in a few games at the end of the season, he started to push people around and say 'come on!'" said Adams. "I think he came out of himself a bit more. He's a fantastic player.
"I thought Arsenal were first class defensively. But you defend as a team. That's what the philosophy of Arsenal always has been - attack as a team and defend as a team. The [attacking players] need to put a shift in as well.
"We looked better when we've had two in front of the centre halves. Later on in the season, with Ramsey and Arteta, I think it looked much better."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 25 Jun 2013