By Rob Kelly

Laurent Koscielny is convinced that Olivier Giroud will be a major asset for Arsenal this season.

The France internationals became close friends during their time together at Tours, before Koscielny moved to Lorient and Giroud to Montpellier.

Now the pair have been reunited at Arsenal and Koscielny believes the 6ft 4in striker will flourish at Emirates Stadium.

“I am happy [he has joined the Club] because he played very well at Montpellier,” the defender told Arsenal Player.

“I played with him at Tours and he was a great player then - now he is even more confident and scores a lot of goals. I know his qualities and he will give a lot for us.

“I know he has the physical quality to play in this league. For a striker it is [about] confidence and I am sure he is working hard to start well with Arsenal.

“He is tall, like Marouane Chamakh and is also good with his back to goal. I think if we play with technical guys he will be happy, and in the box he is a good finisher.”

Giroud and Koscielny have followed a similar pathway to the top, with both making their way through the French lower divisions before earning international recognition and a move to Arsenal.

“We have had the same career, and we had some difficulties when we were younger,” Koscielny said. “Now it is better for us and we work a lot - we have found coaches who gave us confidence.

“I first met Olivier at Tours, where we played one year together. It was the first year for the club in the second division and we finished sixth - Olivier scored a lot of goals.

“After that I left for Lorient and he stayed one year, and he won the award for top scorer. After that he went to Montpellier and scored a lot of goals. He is a champion with Montpellier and I am very happy for him.”

Watch the full interview with Laurent on Arsenal Player now.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
14 Aug 2012