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Koscielny rejects idea of replacing Tottenham star

By Alex Taylor

Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny has claimed he is not interested in displacing Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as France captain.

Koscielny, 31, has become a regular starter for club and country in recent years after joining the Gunners in 2010.

The former Lorient ace has developed into one of the Premier League’s strongest defenders but has little ambition of becoming his nation’s designated leader on the pitch.

“No, the cuff (armband) is fine to go to Hugo Lloris,” Koscielny told L’Equipe. “He has the right role, leadership on and off the pitch, he’s very good like that.

“I’m here to help the team get the best results. I’m not a player like Patrice Evra who finds it much easier to speak to the group, to motivate everyone. I demonstrate my leadership by what I do on the pitch.”

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France are currently preparing to take on Bulgaria and Holland on Friday and Monday respectively in their World Cup qualification campaign.

The nation will still be reeling from their Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal this summer and will be out to go one better at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Koscielny, who is set to play a big part for France in qualifying, has remained an integral member of the Arsenal team this season.

The north London outfit have recovered well from an opening day defeat to Liverpool and picked up 16 points from seven games this season.

Arsene Wenger’s side currently sit in third place in the Premier League, just two points off league leaders Manchester City.

In other Arsenal news, Hector Bellerin is set to reject a £100,000-a-week new contract offer from Arsenal in a bid to join Manchester City next summer, according to a report.