Former Arsenal midfielder Perry Groves has hit out at Laurent Koscielny for trying to force a summer move away from the Gunners.
The Frenchman has refused to travel on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States as he eyes a return to his homeland.
And Groves has blasted the centre-back for his actions, calling him ‘an absolute disgrace’.
Arsenal released a surprise statement on Thursday, revealing their skipper has gone against club orders and stayed behind while the rest of the squad have flown out to the USA.
The 33-year-old has entered the final year of his contract in north London and has reportedly been offered a three-year deal by Ligue 1 clubs Rennes and Bordeaux.
Koscielny is said to have asked the club to terminate his contract early so he can move back to France on a free transfer, but the Gunners refused.
And so it appears the defender has tried to take matters into his own hands, much to the fury of two-time First Division winner Groves.
“My captain, my arse,” the Gunners legend told talkSPORT host Jim White on Friday.
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“I’ll just read out a quote: ‘I don’t believe any French player would have refused to come and play for Arsenal. It took me four years to go from the bench of Ligue 2 to Arsenal, so it is a great achievement. I have been on the crest of a wave for the last few years but it is just the beginning, I haven’t proved anything yet. Arsenal is a reference for football.’
“Who said that? Laurent Koscielny when he signed!
“I think someone should have a word with him and say, ‘Laurent I think you’ve forgotten your beginnings, I think you’ve forgotten when you’ve come from’.
“I hate it when footballers refuse to play, because they forget the privileged position they’re in.
“They’re in a very small minority of people who love what you’re doing and get paid, he’s been paid handsomely for nine years at Arsenal whether he’s been injured or out of form, they stuck by him.
“If it was a younger player who was being advised and had an agent saying you’ve got to force a move… but he’s 33 and he’s made the decision on his own!
“For him to try and force a move away from Arsenal is an absolute disgrace.
“They should fine him and strip him of the captaincy. It would be great to say you’re never going to play for the club again, but Arsenal are not in that position because they haven’t got enough players.
“And thing he’s done as well is, he’s been there nine years and you wouldn’t put him in the Frank McLintock, Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure class, but he’s been a good player for us and he’s won two FA Cups.
“But, he’ll have no affection or good thoughts from the Arsenal fans at all now.”
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