Improved form for Arsenal FC in 2011/12 has given Laurent Koscielny the opportunity to represent France at the UEFA European Championship. The central defender was plucked from Ligue 1 by Gunners manager Arsène Wenger and given his first international cap by Laurent Blanc against the United States in November 2011.
• Eligible to play for France or Poland, Koscielny started out as a right-back for second-tier club EA Guingamp, where he spent three years before dropping down a division to play for Tours FC in 2007.
• Converted to a centre-back, Koscielny won promotion in his first campaign and the Ligue 2 player of the season award in 2008/09, prompting a €1.5m move to FC Lorient.
• Helped the club finish seventh in Ligue 1 and reach the French League Cup semi-final, in which he scored an early goal but was sent off for a foul on FC Girondins de Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh – his future Arsenal team-mate.
• One season in the French top flight was enough to persuade Arsenal to come calling and the defender quickly established himself at the heart of the Gunners' defence, despite being sent off on his Premier League debut against Liverpool FC.
• Scored his first goal for Arsenal against Bolton Wanderers FC on 11 September 2010, four days before he made his UEFA Champions League debut in a 6-0 home win against SC Braga.
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