While Wenger is trying to beef up the Gunners’ squad, Guardiola who now in charge of the European champions after succeeding Heyneckes, is keen on weakening it. The former Barca coach has set sights on Arsenal’s French center back Laurent Koscielny in his attempt to fill the voids left by Badstubber’s long lay-off. According to the Sun, Bayern are ready to test Arsenal’s resolve by offering 15 million pounds for the former Lorient center-back.
An Arsenal insider said: “Laurent is aware of Bayern’s interest and has talked about it with other players. No one knows how it will end up but anything is possible. “It’s worrying because it’s a very attractive option for him to sign for the Champions League winners, who will have Pep Guardiola as manager next season.”
I understand a move to Bayern might sound attractive because of the lure of trophies which seems more plausible there than at the Emirates for now but how about the guarantee of regular first team football? Now, he walks into the Arsenal team even at the expense of the club captain and until he gets injured or suffers serious dip in form, that will continue. At Bayern, he will have to prove himself. Badstubber may be injured but there are options there that he will still tussle with; Dante and Van Buyten.
Besides, Guardiola is known for converting defensive midfielders into center backs. At Barca, he played Busquets, Mascherano and Yaya Toure (all defensive midfielders) in central defence and at Bayern, he has the luxury of having defensive midfielders that can play that role; Javi Martinez, Luis Gustavo and Bastian Schweinsteinger. Can Koscielny leapfrog any of these guys?
Finally, Guardiola’s formation atimes requires just 3 defenders (only one center-back). Should that be the case, that means 3 natural center-backs will be jostling for one slot. That certainly makes regular berth a rarity.
A move to Bayern will fetch Koscielny more money and probably trophies faster but at what expense? Regular football which could also cost him his place in the Les Bleus and the FIFA World Cup is next year. A popular saying goes thus; look before you leap. This situation calls for it.