By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger believes that Laurent Koscielny has developed into one of the best centre backs in the Premier League.

The French international has been in superb form this season and has earned a string of plaudits for his consistency at the heart of the defence.

Wenger heard about Koscielny’s potential some time ago and says he immediately saw that the 26-year-old had the talent to cut it at the highest level.

“[We found him] in France of course, from a smaller team. But you could see that there was something special there,” the manager told Arsenal Player.

“He played at Lorient but first he played with a friend of mine in Tours, who talked to me about him when he played in the second division. Then of course we monitored him with our scouts.

“I believe that last year you could already see the potential but he did not have that dominance in the duels that he has found this season.

“That makes him, I personally believe, one of the top-class central defenders in the Premier League.”

See the full interview with Wenger on Arsenal Player.

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 28 Jan 2012