First Rio Ferdinand, now Thierry Henry. Both men know a thing or two about football, and both have called Laurent Koscielny the best defender in the Premier League.

After the 3-0 win against Olympiacos, Ferdinand was singing Koscielny’s praises. Now it’s Henry’s turn, as Arsenal approach their biggest Premier League game of the season so far.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal juggles the ball watched by Gabriel Paulista during an Arsenal training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League match against Olympiacos at London Colney on December 8, 2015 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Laurent Koscielny, the best defender in England? (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

“It’s lucky for Arsenal that Laurent Koscielny has been more or less available every week because he is probably their only outfield player who is irreplaceable,” Henry said in his column for the Sun.

“I regard him as the best defender in the league at the moment.”

The former Arsenal man knows a thing or two about defenders, so it’s a pretty high compliment. Koscielny has played in 14 of Arsenal’s 16 Premier League games so far this season and is enjoying one of his best campaigns ever.

His partnership with Per Mertesacker is formidable, arguably one of the best in Europe, as the defenders dovetail excellently. Their performances haven’t been flawless – both have been at fault for goals – but they are generally consistent and perform at a high level, even against the very best attacks.

The passing game of Koscielny has also improved dramatically, adding yet another string to the bow of – according to Henry – the finest defender in England.