Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was full of praise for teammate Laurent Koscielny after the Frenchman came third in the Vitality Player of the Season poll, saying he leads by example on the pitch.

Ramsey has played alongside the Frenchman for seven years now and revealed the influential centre-back deserves a lot of recognition for his efforts.

Laurent doesn’t say too much, but he leads by example with the way he handles himself,” Ramsey said.

He’s a fantastic player, a great defender, he is quick, he has good technique and he is probably one of the best defenders in the league. He is a great captain for us to look up to and off the pitch he is just a family guy who is quite low-key.

But as soon as he comes in here he is pretty serious and gets on with things. He’s got a good sense of humour, his English has improved a lot and he’s a good guy to have around.

The stand-in captain whilst Per Mertesacker has been injured, it’s evident that Arsenal rely on the 31-year-old’s presence at the back during tough fixtures. He himself has troublesome injuries which need to be carefully treated and in five league fixtures that he has not played this term, the Gunners have lost two (Liverpool and Crystal Palace).

He was solid when called upon against Manchester City during the FA Cup semi-finals, which was largely seen as a match that Pep Guardiola’s side would have no trouble winning in truth. It’s clear to see that he is the club’s best defender and when he doesn’t feature, there’s less confidence within the backline.

Mertesacker himself could start as part of the back three if Shkodran Mustafi (concussion) is not passed fit to play and Koscielny will be a significant miss in Arsenal’s pursuit of a third FA Cup trophy in four seasons.

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