By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Laurent Koscielny is the best defender in the Premier League, according to Rio Ferdinand.

The former England and Manchester United star claimed on Wednesday night that Koscielny has developed into an even better centre-back than Vincent Kompany.

Ferdinand was speaking after Koscielny produced an outstanding display as Arsenal clinched an against-the-odds 3-0 Champions League win at Olympiakos.

It sealed the Gunners’ passage into the knockout stages of the Champions League for a 16th consecutive year on one of the most memorable nights of the club’s history in the competition.

“Koscielny, when he is on form, is the best defender in the league, for me,” Ferdinand told BT Sport Europe afterwards. “Kompany is not fit enough consistently enough.

“This guy (Koscielny) has turned into a top-class defender. He is one of those you would not want to play against. He is aggressive and all over you.”

Koscielny and his central defensive partner Per Mertesacker were the bedrock of Arsenal’s superb rearguard in the cauldron of one of Europe’s most intimidating arenas.

The Frenchman is widely regarded as Arsenal’s outstanding defender and the 30-year-old is now winning plaudits for his standing among Europe’s top players.

By comparison, Manchester City captain Kompany has struggled with a series of niggling injuries in the last two seasons.