Arsenal manager Unai Emery has insisted that club captain Laurent Koscielny is still an important player for the club despite refusing to join the team for the pre-season tour amid a standoff regarding his contract situation.

Koscielny was under the impression that the club would cancel his contract and let him go back to France on a free, considering the long service he has given to Arsenal. 

However, the club have been steadfast in ensuring the extra year in the contract is honoured or sell him if an acceptable bid is placed for him.

Irrespective of what is going on behind the scenes, Emery was adamant that Koscielny was still an important player in the team, especially in a defence that is in much needed injection of quality.

“He has one year left on his contract.” Emery said, according to Goal

“For me as a coach he's an important player. Now it's one matter for him and the club. The club and him need to speak, they are speaking about his situation. I cannot say more than that. I spoke with him before he came here and he decided to stay there.

“He started training with us this pre-season and I spoke with him three times for his situation. We wanted him to come with us on this tour but he decided to stay. Now it is a matter for the club and for the player.”

It remains to be seen if Koscielny will remain with the club when the new season starts, but either way Arsenal need to make some signings in the central defence area if they are to have any hope of finishing in the top four.