Laurent Koscielny
Koscielny has been aware of transfer interest over the years but says for the timebeing, he is happy at Arsenal.Getty

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny says he will not make the same mistakes as some of his former teammates, who left the Emirates only to find themselves on the bench at new clubs. Koscielny, 30, is currently enjoying his sixth season in North London, with the Gunners currently providing their strongest challenge for the Premier League title since his arrival.

The Gunners' efforts to mount serious titles bids over the last 10 years have been undermined by the loss of key players, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna, Aleksandr Hleb, Alex Song and Gael Clichy among those to have left to chase silverware elsewhere.

Koscielny notes, however, some of those to have left have invariably enjoyed less first-team football than they did at the Emirates, suggesting that as a key reason why he has never sought a move away despite reported interest from the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, he said: "I have everything I need. There were teams interested in me but I always asked myself if it was worth taking the risk. I have seen a good few players leave for a bigger club find themselves on the substitutes' bench.

"At the start of my career I was often on the bench. I hated it. I said to myself, never again. "For the moment, I have no reason to go and look elsewhere. I have everything I need to develop myself."

Arsenal were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke City on 17 January but still sit atop the Premier League by virtue of their superior goal difference. With 16 games of the season remaining, the Gunners are second favourites to win their fifth Premier League crown, but Koscielny assures the club will be taking nothing for granted.

"The title is not a given, but I'd rather be in this position than chasing the others. There are four months left to play so it will be complicated," he admitted.

"The Premier League is becoming more of a level playing field. Average teams can recruit very good players [due to TV money], who until now had only joined the top five teams.

"But after 10 years without a trophy, the FA Cup wins have done us good. For the past three years, we've kept our spine. We know each other better so that allows us to win matches that we would have lost before."