Laurent Koscielny a major doubt for Champions League opener
Arsenal is set to miss defender Laurent Koscielny for the Champions League opening match against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday due to an eye injury.
The Frenchman featured in Arsenal’s 2-1 league win over Southampton on Saturday but following a tussle with Southampton’s Jose Fonte, the 31-year-old was left with a horribly swollen eye.
Following Koscielny’s injury, the new summer transfer Rob Holding is now in line to partner Shkodran Mustafi in the upcoming games.
“He will be a little bit of a concern”, said Wenger. “The eye is already very swollen and it is closed up.”
The French manager also cleared doubts over Koscielny’s future despite interest from Bayern Munich in the summer. “He has committed to the club for a long contract and he has always improved every year. Today he is an outstanding center back.” Wenger said when asked about Koscielny’s future with the club.
The experienced centre-back has three years left on his current contract with the club.
“He is one of the most experienced players we have now. He is one of the longest serving defenders and I think he is one of our best players,” continued Wenger.
“He gave himself a great present, but as well he doesn’t score that when it is four-nil for you, he scores at one-nil down and that’s always a special quality.”
Arsene Wenger also feels that not every player has the ability to play every week, “When I think about the squad, when you choose a captain as well, you think one with a good chance to play in every single game and that’s not easy nowadays. It’s a bit easier for a defender than for a striker or a midfielder.”
The London-based club will depend heavily upon Shkodran Mustafi, who was one of the most sought after defenders this summer, now that all experienced centre-backs at the club are out for injury.
Wenger hinted towards a change in the line-up for the Champions League game against Paris after the Southampton match, “I have to decide that. We will see how everyone is tomorrow morning. For Tuesday, we might just have Gibbs coming back, who was not in the squad today. It’s possible they are in the squad.”
Arsenal will face Paris Saint-Germain on 14th September.Published 12 Sep 2016, 17:38 IST