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Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny reminded me of Fabio Cannavaro - Wenger

Fabio Cannavaro captained Italy in their 2006 World Cup triumph in Germany.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he likened centre-back Laurent Koscielny to former FIFA World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro when he first saw the Frenchman play for Lorient.

Koscielny, 30, has been a mainstay at the Emirates since joining from the French side for £9.7 million in 2010, and has been a key component in the Gunners' run to the top of Premier League table this season.

Former Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid defender Cannavaro captained Italy to the 2006 World Cup title in Germany and was later crowned the game's best player for his heroics that summer.

Said Wenger: "He was a bit like Cannavaro. Not too tall, but very mobile, read the game very well and had great interception qualities.

"I was told by a friend of mine who was his coach a few years earlier that he was a quality player, so I kept an eye on him."

Koscielny's relative lack of height (1.86 metres) initially concerned Wenger, but the longtime Arsenal boss says those fears are slowly subsiding.

"I felt that the only question mark for him coming to English football would be dealing with the ball in the air," Wenger said.

"But he's slowly getting there."


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