If we make a list of ‘unlucky players’ with regards to fitness and injuries, Laurent Koscielny would certainly be among the top five names. The Arsenal veteran captain, since joining the Gunners back in 2010, has had several fitness issues, which prevented him from playing several important games under their ex-manager Arsene Wenger.
His latest injury happened back in May against Atlético Madrid in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, and turned out to be a devastating one for the French centre-back. The Achilles rupture that Koscielny suffered last season denied him his confirmed place in Didier Deschamps’ France side for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, who went on to win the coveted prize as well, beating Croatia in the final. He is yet to play a game under Arsenal new manager, Unai Emery.
Koscielny was so upset for missing out on the World Cup team and seeing his team-mates win the World Cup, that he wished his country lost in the finals, as revealed by the player himself. He also retired from national duties back in October this year.
However, the Gooners now just want to see their captain return soon to the field, who hasn’t kicked a ball since getting injured in May, and Koscielny doesn’t want to disappoint them any longer. The 33-year-old has missed out on the first few months under the Spaniard, while his side are currently unbeaten in 12 matches in a row in all competitions.
If the French defender is to be believed, he will soon be back on the pitch for London outfit, regaining back his match fitness in six months. Speaking in his pre-match captain’s notes ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash with Blackpool, Koscielny said:
“I won’t be involved in the game tonight but I am continuing my recovery and I am getting closer to a return.
“I have been training with the first team for a bit now. It is great to be back with the boys. I am getting better every day and my fitness and sharpness are coming back.
“I don’t want to rush anything but it is a great feeling to take part in training sessions with the squad again.”
It would be a welcome sight for the North Londoners to see their skipper back in the squad after such a long gap. It would be equally interesting to see how Emery integrates the defender into his well-established playing eleven, and who among Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Paspastathopoulos will be benched for the veteran.