Arsenal FC have moved to strengthen their back line by signing Laurent Koscielny from FC Lorient.
The 24-year-old Frenchman has joined the Premier League club on a long-term contract and for an undisclosed fee. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger welcomed Koscielny – who is uncapped but eligible to play for either France or Poland – to north London, saying: "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."
Koscielny was voted Ligue 2's players' player of the season in 2008/09 when he was with Tours FC. Lorient signed him last summer for €1.5m and he made 35 appearances in his only top-flight campaign, helping his club finish seventh.
An EA Guingamp player between 2004 and 2007, he initially dropped down a division to French football's third tier when moving to Tours. Now brought in to reinforce an Arsenal back line which could lose the services of William Gallas and Mikaël Silvestre this summer, Koscielny said of his latest transfer: "I'm very excited. Arsenal have one of the best managers in the world in Arsène Wenger and I can't wait to work with him."
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