Since arriving at the club back in 2010, Laurent has become one of Europe’s foremost central defenders - and he continued to heighten that reputation last season with a series of typically-dominant performances.
Strong, quick and an expert reader of the game, the Tulle-born centre half captained us regularly in 2016/17, forging a promising partnership with Shkodran Mustafi during the first half of the campaign before seamlessly settling into a back three when we changed formation in April.
Laurent also has a knack for scoring important goals. He netted in our final games of the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons to help secure a place in the Champions League, and he scored our equaliser in the 2014 FA Cup final win over Hull City.
Last season he ensured Arsène Wenger’s 20-year anniversary at the club was marked with a win, bundling home a dramatic late winner at Burnley in October. Three weeks earlier his sublime overhead kick brought us level in an eventual 2-1 win against Southampton.
Laurent goes into the 2017/18 season closing in on 350 appearances for us, and having agreed a new long-term contract in January.
An experienced France international, he has featured at each of the last three major tournaments, helping Les Bleus to reach the Euro 2016 final on home soil.
Laurent began his career at Guingamp, before playing alongside future team-mate Olivier Giroud at Tours. He joined us from Lorient, for whom he impressed in Ligue 1.