Former Chelsea defender and France legend, Marcel Desailly, has claimed that Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is as good as the likes of Gerard Pique and Nemanja Vidic.

Desailly was speaking ahead of les Bleus’ World Cup qualifying clash with Spain on Tuesday, where Koscielny is expected to play some part, and his improvement since Arsene Wenger bought him has impressed the former AC Milan star greatly.

Koscielny joined Arsenal as a relative unknown in 2010 from Ligue 1 side Lorient and endured a shaky start to his career at Emirates Stadium, but last season he was arguably the club’s second most impressive player, after Robin van Persie, and won plaudits from around the Premier League, as well as from Desailly.

“I love to see a lot of Koscielny, of course. Today, he has a bigger potential than Mexes and Rami,” he told – a French online publication.

“Unfortunately [due to Koscielny’s age and late arrival in the French side] he did not have great experience, but he has a good momentum since his arrival at Arsenal.

“He has good leg speed, which reminds me of Lilian [Thuram]. The last time I told him to work on the pitch and he will become one of the best defenders in the world. He has a level of Vidic or Pique. I mean that sincerely.”

The Arsenal defender will likely be pleased to hear compliments from a player who was considered to be one of the best defenders in the world and has won every trophy there is to win in club and international football.

However, Koscielny has suffered a stuttering start to the current Premier League season, mainly due to injury and the excellent form of team-mate Per Mertesacker.

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