By Nick Teale
Laurent Koscielny relishes a physical challenge.
Arsène Wenger's latest acquisition also says he's strong in the air and reads the game well, attributes he is hoping to show at the Emirates Cup next week.
The French defender has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence, joining Arsenal just 12 months after leaving Ligue 2 side Tours for Lorient. Now he's ready to test himself in the cut-and-thrust of the Premier League.
"I like physical challenges and I'm a player that can anticipate situations," Koscielny told "I feel that I read the game well and one of my strengths is challenging for the ball in the air.
"However, being at Arsenal, I know that I will have to work harder on all of those points to reach a higher level."
The defender, along with fellow new signing Marouane Chamakh, is likely to make his first appearance at Emirates Stadium in the Emirates Cup. It runs over the weekend of Saturday July 31 and Sunday August 1 and Koscielny is eagerly anticipating his first match in front of the Arsenal faithful.

"I just hope I will be able to play and give my all to win both our matches in the Emirates Cup," he said. "I'm excited about seeing the supporters and stadium for the first time and I am very motivated and confident for the Emirates Cup.
"We play against two very big clubs in AC Milan and Celtic, and I can't wait to wear the Arsenal shirt at Emirates Stadium."

French outfit Lyon will compete with Arsenal, AC Milan and Celtic for the trophy. Koscielny played against them three times for Lorient last season and says even though they did not win Ligue 1, they are still the biggest team in his homeland.

"Lyon were champions for a long time in France and dominated the country's football for a long period," he said.
"For the past two seasons they haven't won the French league title but they still have plenty of very good international players like Lisandro Lopez, Michel Bastos and Jimmy Briand.
"Lyon are the biggest team in France, they have a very good defence with powerful players like Cris and Sissoko.
"They have very strong individual players and as we all know, they did very well in last season's Champions League. Along with Marseille, in my opinion they are the number one team in France.
"They are a very good team to watch and the whole Emirates Cup will be a great experience for all the supporters."

All tickets for Day One of the Emirates Cup are now sold out. However, you can still purchase tickets for Day Two, which sees AC Milan take on Olympique Lyonnais before Arsenal face Celtic. Click here for more information.

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25 Jul 2010