Arsenal manager drops update on Laurent Koscielny’s possible return

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has highlighted that he would not rush the Frenchman to first-team action following his recent recovery from a surgery on a serious Achilles problem sustained in May.

Koscielny had been spotted going through individual training sessions at the start of the previous month and speaking in a press conference, Emery has now confirmed that the club-captain has integrated himself into first-team training since the international break.

Despite this, the Spanish tactician has no plans of featuring the defender in the upcoming league meeting at Bournemouth but he has indicated that the centre-back could potentially participate for the Under 23s during Monday night’s Premier League 2 clash against Derby County.

Gunners boss Emery showed a particular presence to bolster the defensive strength of the team during the summer and both Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner were recruited to solidify the backline.

However, neither of them have managed to claim a regular role under the former Paris Saint-Germain this campaign and the exclusion of Sokratis has come as a particular surprise, given he was touted to strengthen the central defence in Koscielny’s absence.

At present, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding have become the regular choices for the heart of the defence but their positions nonetheless remain far from certain with the Gunners managing just one clean sheet since the beginning of October.

Meanwhile, Koscielny may not automatically cement his spot in the starting lineup after attaining match fitness but with the hectic festive schedule ahead, there is every chance of him featuring in certain games where he could stake the claim for a regular role with strong performances.

Image – Arsenal’s official website