Olivier Giroud says unsettled Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny is ‘very hurt’ by his current stand-off with the club.
The veteran defender has refused to join up with Unai Emery’s side for their pre-season tour of the US, with the 33-year-old having requested to leave the Emirates this summer and return to his native France.
Koscielny’s actions have left the club’s supporters angered, but former Arsenal forward Giroud says the centre-back is ‘very hurt’ by his current situation.
“Lolo is a good friend of mine,” Giroud told the BBC. “I’ve known him now for 10, 11 years. We played together in the second division [in France, at Tours].
“He’s been playing for Arsenal for nine years; he’s been the skipper for so many years – very respectful, very professional, always the best example for the young players.
“The club gave him the opportunity to play at Arsenal, and it was a big, big opportunity for him to show his quality in the Premier League. I think he has always been grateful about that and respectful to the club. I don’t understand how we have got to this situation.
“I feel very sad for him because he’s a great person and the media wants to give a bad image of him.
“I’m not at the club, I don’t know what really happened – but one thing for sure is Lolo is very hurt by what’s happening and he’s an emotional person.”
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