That headline is what Arsene Wenger said about Laurent Koscielny, who completed his transfer to Arsenal on this day in 2010. At first many fans were unimpressed by Koscielny, forgetting perhaps how much adjustment is needed for a player moving from a small French club to a club the size of Arsenal, in a league where tactics, expectations and refereeing standards are so different. And indeed he was just one of several players to travel from Lorient to Arsenal – the most recent being Guendouzi.
Here are today’s anniversaries…
7 July 1917: Islington’s Baby Week concluded. These “Weeks” were held across the country to encourage mothers to work harder to protect the health of their children despite the hardships of wartime, amidst a growing concern about the rise in infant mortality in the capital from malnutrition and the continuing measles epidemic. Arsenal’s owner was at the forefront of promoting them in London.
7 July 1921: Joe Wade born in Shoreditch. He joined Arsenal as an amateur in 1944 – while Britain was still at war and he was serving in the RAF. He played at left back
and playing mostly reserve football for Arsenal
7 July 1975. Charlie George joined Derby County in a £99,000 deal (although the date is quoted in some sources as 2 July). He played 106 league games for Derby
– his only long term assignment after leaving Arsenal.
7 July 1997: Paul Merson to Middlesbrough for £5m. He stayed for just one season and played 48 games, before moving on to Aston Villa where he played 101 games. After that he played for Portsmouth and Walsall before dropping out of the league to become notorious as an anti-Wenger pundit.
7 July 1998: Following the arrival of Arsene Wenger, David Platt was released from his Arsenal contract one year early. He moved to Nottingham Forest but only played five games before retiring. In 2018, he was appointed as a club consultant for U.S. Città di Palermo of Italy’s Serie B following the club takeover by an English group
7 July 1999: Laurie Scott died. In 1951 he moved to Crystal Palace as player-manager but after Palace had to apply for re-election in 1954 he moved on to Hendon and later Hitchin Town.
7 July 1999: Jason Crowe moved to Portsmouth on a free transfer. In a career lasting to 2013 he played over 400 league games, with clubs including Palace, Brentford, Grimsby, Northampton, Leeds, Leyton Orient, and finally Corby Town.
7 July 2010: Laurent Koscielny completed his move to Arsenal from Lorient for whom he had played 35 games, for £8.45 million. Arsene Wenger stated in 2015 that he felt this was his best value transfer of the past ten years.
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