Blanc: Koscielny one for the future

France boss Laurent Blanc insists Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has plenty of time to break into the national side after Gunners manager Arsene Wenger tipped the stopper for international success.

Former Lorient defender Koscielny, who was only at the Ligue 1 club for one season, has enjoyed a rapid rise to stardom after beginning his footballing career in the third tier in France at Guingamp, before moving to Ligue 2 side Tours.

After spending three years in Ligue 2, Koscielny was promoted to France’s top tier and, although signing a four-year contract with Lorient, earned a moved to Emirates Stadium after only one campaign playing in Ligue 1.

And the Frenchman could soon complete the set with international honours, after national team boss Blanc revealed that he has been watching the 25-year-old Gunners defender since the start of the season.

“He’s a player we’ve been keeping an eye on since the start of the season and his transfer to Arsenal,” Blanc told FIFA's official website.

“He’s at one of the biggest clubs in Europe now and having seen his performances there we felt it was time to bring him into the team and let him get a feel of things.

“He’s still young, and it was only three seasons ago that he was playing for Tours in the Championnat National (French third tier). He’s come through so quickly, and according to Arsene Wenger he’s got the potential to get even better.

“He’s definitely one for the future and the more I see him play, the more I’m impressed by his intelligence, vision and ability to bring the ball out of defence.”

Koscielny has made 29 appearances for Arsenal this season, scoring three times but also seeing red on two occasions.

By Matt Maltby