Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of defender Laurent Koscielny from French Ligue 1 side Lorient on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee.

Twenty-four year-old Koscielny, who is predominantly a central defender, made 40 appearances in all competitions during his season with Lorient in the 2009/2010 campaign.

Before joining the north-west French club Lorient in 2009, Koscielny also played for En Avant Guingamp and Tours in France, where in 2009 he was voted Best Player in Ligue 2 for the 2008/2009 season by his fellow professionals - the UNFP (National Union of Professional Footballers in France).

Although born in France, uncapped Koscielny, who helped Lorient to seventh place in the French league championship last season, would also qualify to represent the Poland national team as a result of his family roots.

Manager Arsène Wenger said: "Koscielny is a central defender with great ability who performed extremely well last season for Lorient. We identified him as a very strong centre half, who has made big progress very quickly. He has shown he is mentally strong, he's a fighter and a very strong competitor. Koscielny is a great addition to our squad."

New Arsenal player Koscielny said: "I'm very excited to be joining Arsenal. They are one of the biggest teams in Europe with many great players. I'm really looking forward to playing in the English Premier League and the Champions League with my new club. Also, in Arsène Wenger, Arsenal has one of the best managers in the world and I can't wait to work with him and do my best for the Arsenal supporters."

Koscielny, who will wear the number 6 shirt, is scheduled to make his first appearance at Emirates Stadium over the weekend of Friday 31st July and Saturday 1st August, when Arsenal compete with AC Milan, Celtic and Olympique Lyonnais for the Emirates Cup 2010. For further information, click here.

Copyright 2014 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 7 Jul 2010